The Environmental Protection Agency said it did not find significant contamination in well water serving 11 Pennsylvania families, who feared that natural gas drilling had polluted their well.
Some residents of Dimock, a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania, complained that their well water turned cloudy and foul-smelling after an oil and gas company drilled for gas using hydraulic fracturing, a controversial extraction method that involves shooting water and sand laced with chemicals underground to unlock reservoirs of fossil fuels.
Those water quality concerns have made Dimock a watchword for possible environmental risks associated with natural gas drilling for many critics of the process.
In January, the EPA said it planned to test the water of 60 families in the area, where there is currently a state-imposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In a statement issued last week, the EPA said that analysis of water samples of the first 11 families “did not show levels of contamination that could present a health concern.”