Pa. drilling town agrees to settlement in fracking federal lawsuit
Documents indicate that residents of Dimock Township, Pa., who claim their water was poisoned by fracking, have reached a confidential settlement in a lawsuit that has been ongoing since 2009.
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.
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.