George Turner, a licensed professional geologist from Tunkhannock, has a strong message for the citizens of Bradford County. He warns everyone that they must test their water before drilling begins, and they must follow protocol called "chain of custody." The homeowner must prove that contaminated well water was caused by drilling and was not present before drilling was done. Drilling companies notoriously claim, "We did not cause this," as their first line of defense. Unless a homeowner has documented water tests, the gas company can get off the hook easily.Turner says that Chesapeake Energy's claims of pre-existing conditions on Paradise Road in Terry Township are, in his words, "a crock."
Chesapeake says that pre-drilling water quality testing in the area was done by an independent lab and showed that nearly 70% of the residential wells had pre-existing methane saturarion and 30% of the wells exceeded acceptable EPA standards for arsenic, iron, or mangenese. Turner takes exception to this.
What Chesapeake claims is a crock. I've done testing in Terry Township and I haven't found any of that. I haven't found any examples of methane saturation at all in Terry Township. What they're trying to do is lay the groundwork for saying: 'We didn't do it.' That's the same thing that Cabot (in Dimock) did when people came to them about water contamination. First thing they said was: 'We didn't do it.' Well, Chesapeake is saying the same thing: 'We didn't do it.'A resident on Paradise Road is able to ingnite the water coming out of his tap in his kitchen. According to Turner, this indicates that methane saturation has occurred- about 25-26 milligrams per liter of water. He stresses that, regardless of dramatic evidence, a well owner has to obtain documents that will stand up in court.
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Breaking news: Residents of Paradise Road were evacuated yesterday (8/4). Reported by the Rocket Courier.