A couple of weeks ago we blogged about DEP Secretary Hanger's plan to build a $12 million, 12 mile water line from Montrose to Dimock to serve about 14 homes with contaminated water—allegedly caused by the natural gas drilling company Cabot. It appears we aren't the only ones who think the plan is extreme.
A new citizens group called Enough, Already! has sprung up in the area. Members are taking out ads, circulating petitions, and hosting informational events to propose a variety of cheaper and less destructive solutions. In a letter to Secretary Hanger the group summed up their position:
The imposition of an arbitrary public works project contrary to fundamental planning processes including the absence of any meaningful public participation or consideration of alternatives is our concern as is ethical, competent, nonpartisan execution of duties by our State officials.
Likewise, Montrose Borough has gone on the record as opposing this pipeline and is prepared to do all they can legally to stop it.
Cabot has already spent $8 million on various remediation projects including $193,000 for providing water, $700,000 in free water testing, and $1,000 to repair the so called "explosion" of a water well. The company also successfully installed and tested water treatment systems for homeowners who are not suing the company.
Mr. Hanger said the new water line construction will begin immediately, and be paid for with a loan state from PENNVEST while the state brings legal action to obtain the $12 million from Cabot. If the court doesn't find Cabot responsible for the costs, taxpayers will be left to foot the bill.
In the meantime, citizens are begging for more publicity as approval for the PENNVEST loan could occur as early as November 9th, the next scheduled meeting for the PENNVEST board.