Residents of Pa. drilling town near settlement - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Residents of Pa. drilling town near settlement

Updated:

Residents of a northeastern Pennsylvania town who say their well water was poisoned by a gas driller are nearing a settlement of their long-running and highly contentious federal lawsuit.

Court documents filed this week indicate that residents in the tiny community of Dimock Township have agreed to a confidential settlement with Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

Dimock became a flashpoint in the national debate over gas drilling and a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, after residents claimed in 2009 that Cabot polluted their water supply with methane gas and toxic chemicals and made some of them violently ill.

Cabot denied responsibility. Federal environmental regulators tested the aquifer this year and found the water in Dimock is safe to drink, a conclusion disputed by residents who refuse to use their wells.

State environmental regulators previously determined that Cabot contaminated the aquifer underneath homes along Carter Road in Dimock with explosive levels of methane, although they later determined the company had met its obligations under a consent agreement and allowed Cabot to stop delivering bulk and bottled water last fall.

Cabot's lawyers approached the plaintiffs in May and June with offers to settle, according to a document filed Monday in federal court. The plaintiffs' attorneys said in the document they expect the settlement money to be distributed within 60 days.

The names of the settling plaintiffs were blacked out, and the overall amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Cabot's chief executive, Dan O. Dinges, told investors on July 25 that the company had verbal agreements with 32 of 36 Dimock households and was continuing to negotiate with the others.

Attorney Tate Kunkle, representing the plaintiffs, declined to comment on Wednesday. A Cabot spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Scranton's The Times-Tribune newspaper was first to report details of the settlement.

Cabot is 1 of the most successful drillers in the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia that contains the nation's largest reservoir of natural gas. To reach the gas, drillers frack the wells, injecting millions of gallons of water, along with sand and chemicals, to crack open the gas-bearing rock.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Ohio/Pennsylvania NewsMore>>

  • Man steps in front of truck, sets himself on fire

    Man steps in front of truck, sets himself on fire

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:14:38 GMT
    OBERLIN, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a man stepped into traffic on a northeast Ohio highway and then set himself on fire. Ohio State Highway Patrol officials say 28-year-old Hugo Ramos of Cleveland pulled to the side of the highway, stepped into the road and was hit by a truck. Ramos then got up, retrieved a container of gasoline from his car, swallowed some of it, poured the rest on his body and then set himself on fire as three children sat in his car. Officials say a bystander extinguishe...More >>
    OBERLIN, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a man stepped into traffic on a northeast Ohio highway and then set himself on fire. Ohio State Highway Patrol officials say 28-year-old Hugo Ramos of Cleveland pulled to the side of the highway, stepped into the road and was hit by a truck. Ramos then got up, retrieved a container of gasoline from his car, swallowed some of it, poured the rest on his body and then set himself on fire as three children sat in his car. Officials say a bystander extinguishe...More >>
  • Police: Man lying in road struck by car, killed

    Police: Man lying in road struck by car, killed

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-09-15 14:29:55 GMT
    HERMINIE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a man apparently lying in the road in front of a western Pennsylvania high school was struck and killed by a car. Officials in Westmoreland County said the accident happened shortly after 1:40 a.m. Monday in front of Yough High School in Sewickley Township. State police said the pedestrian was apparently lying in the northbound lane of Lowber Road when he was hit by a car. Police said the driver reported seeing what appeared to be an object in the road an...More >>
    HERMINIE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a man apparently lying in the road in front of a western Pennsylvania high school was struck and killed by a car. Officials in Westmoreland County said the accident happened shortly after 1:40 a.m. Monday in front of Yough High School in Sewickley Township. State police said the pedestrian was apparently lying in the northbound lane of Lowber Road when he was hit by a car. Police said the driver reported seeing what appeared to be an object in the road an...More >>
  • Central Ohio teen shot to death

    Central Ohio teen shot to death

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:58 AM EDT2014-09-15 13:58:15 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A central Ohio teenager was shot to death over the weekend. The Franklin County coroner identified the victim as 17-year-old Reb Barbee. Police say the teen was shot at about 5 a.m. Sunday in Prairie Township west of Columbus. Friends and neighbors told reporters that Barbee stumbled into his home leaving a trail of blood. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office hasn't released any details of the shooting and hasn't announced an arrest. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press....More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A central Ohio teenager was shot to death over the weekend. The Franklin County coroner identified the victim as 17-year-old Reb Barbee. Police say the teen was shot at about 5 a.m. Sunday in Prairie Township west of Columbus. Friends and neighbors told reporters that Barbee stumbled into his home leaving a trail of blood. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office hasn't released any details of the shooting and hasn't announced an arrest. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press....More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms