EPA Declares No Groundwater Contamination in Marcellus Shale

Last Week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed results in the testing of more than 20 water wells at the center of a debate over the safety of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The verdict? No dangerous levels of contamination.

Featured in the now debunked documentary "Gasland," the Susquehanna County village of Dimock has been at the center of a fierce debate over drilling, in particular the process of hydraulic fracturing, or frac'ing.

State environmental regulators previously claimed that Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. contaminated the aquifer underneath homes along Carter Road in Dimock with explosive levels of methane gas, although they later determined the company had met its obligation to provide safe drinking water to residents.

A Cabot spokesman said in a statement Friday that the "data confirms the earlier EPA finding that levels of contaminants found do not possess a threat to human health and the environment."

"Importantly, the EPA again did not indicate that those contaminants that were detected bore any relationship to oil and gas development in the Dimock area, particularly given the fact that any contaminants are more likely indicative of naturally-occurring background levels or other unrelated activities," the statement said.