PA DEP TO REOPEN WATER CONTAMINATION INVESTIGATION IN FRANKLIN FORKS
WATER SUPPLY EQUIPMENT TO STAY IN PLACE
Franklin Forks, PA ~ On Friday afternoon two families in Franklin Forks learned that WPX Energy will not carry out its plans to remove the water buffalos and other equipment that have been supplying their homes with water for the past two years. The water wells of the Hadlick and Manning families became contaminated in December 2011 after WPX began drilling shale gas wells in the area. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined WPX for defective cement casings on the two gas wells nearest the impacted homes, but subsequently claimed that the sudden contamination of the water wells was not linked to drilling.
WPX announced its intention to donate the equipment to the families on Friday December 13th, after supporters announced their plans to rally in Franklin Forks on Monday while the the equipment was taken away. John Hanger, a former DEP commissioner and currently a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, had promised to attend the rally. He blasted WPX’s plans to remove the only source of water for the two homes as “arrogant” and “inhumane”. Earlier in the week, the Green Century Funds and nine other investors sent a letter to WPX CEO Ralph Hill stating that the companies threatened action positioned “WPX as a corporation that is not concerned with the well-being or basic human needs of residents living near its operations.”
Plans for the Monday rally were called off after it was learned that the equipment would stay in place. On Saturday Mr. Hanger reported that the PA DEP said it would reopen its investigation into the cause of the well water contamination.
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