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EQT Must Inform and Provide Residents with Alternative Water While Pollution Incident is Investigated

Posted Jul 18, 2022, by Lisa DePaoli

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Virginia Alvino Young, virginia@sequalconsulting.com, 714-267-1623

EQT MUST INFORM AND PROVIDE RESIDENTS WITH ALTERNATIVE WATER WHILE POLLUTION INCIDENT IS INVESTIGATED

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Preliminary independent testing results show high levels of ethane, methane, and total dissolved solids in residential water

Greene County, PA — Time and time again, EQT shows that they don’t care about the communities they operate in. Because of the company’s pollution incident, an entire community’s water supply is at risk of being unusable due to exposure to harmful chemicals. EQT has done nothing to directly inform impacted residents of their risk, nor have they helped local families access clean, safe water. The company has not provided a sufficient alternative source of water since the frac-out that occurred on June 19th. 

“It feels like we’ve been left to fend for ourselves,” said New Freeport, PA resident Tammy Yoders, who lives 100 yards from the impacted well pad. “We can’t use the water to drink or bathe in. Even the dogs can tell not to drink it. But because EQT won’t take responsibility for the problems they cause, we have the burden and expense of hauling in our own bottled water to use.”

The Center for Coalfield Justice connected residents with outside independent water testing. The 3 different wells that were sampled all showed the same preliminary findings. 

“It was apparent that the water was unsafe ​to use and required further testing,” said John Stolz, Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University. “​The samples collected had ​elevated levels of methane and ​two had ethane​, suggesting a thermogenic source. We also​ saw pH ​and total dissolved solids​(TDS) levels that exceeded EPA drinking water standards. ​Further sampling and testing needs to ​be done to find out what ​is causing the high TDS. Until then, it’s clear that the ​residents should be provided with an alternative source of water.”

“The residents of New Freeport have been left alone without any actions or answers from DEP or EQT for weeks, nor an alternative water supply until their drinking source is confirmed to be safe,” said Veronica Coptis, Executive Director of The Center for Coalfield Justice. 

No matter what we look like or where we live, we all depend on safe, clean water.  But fossil fuel companies like EQT would rather claim plausible deniability to protect their profits than ensure the residents near their operations have access to clean water.”

Now more than ever, we need effective checks and balances on the polluting powerful.

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Author

  • Lisa DePaoli

    Lisa (Coffield) DePaoli joined the CCJ staff as Outreach Coordinator in December 2018 and moved into the role of Communications Manager in 2020. She grew up in rural Washington County, has family in both Washington and Greene Counties, and has always loved animals and spending time outdoors. A first-generation and nontraditional college student, her deep interest in human beings and ecology led her to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. She has worked on research projects and taught at the university level in the U.S. and in field schools in Latin America. The knowledge and experience she gained increased her concern for environmental and social justice issues, which she believes are best addressed at the local level, or from the "bottom up." Lisa works to understand issues from the local to the global, seeks to make a positive difference, and loves to talk to people about what interests or concerns them. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, furkids, and friends, and walking in the woods with her dogs.

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