Long fight over fracking still divides Pa town

Long fight over fracking still divides Pa. town by Andrew Maykuth, August 27, 2012, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than three years after residents in this Susquehanna County town complained that Marcellus Shale natural gas development polluted their private water wells, the lawsuits are getting settled, the activists are going away, and gas drilling is set to resume. But the battle scars are unhealed in Dimock, whose name has become synonymous with hydraulic fracturing – fracking. The rush to drill struck a deep reservoir of hostility. Residents who support or oppose shale-gas development complain that their neighbors are looking for a quick payday, either from gas-drilling royalties or a legal settlement. They exchange snippy comments at the post office and glares at the grocery. They hold counterdemonstrations to each other’s rallies, hoisting glasses of dirty water or clean water, depending upon their point of view. The pettiness was documented in court papers. … “You got neighbors against neighbors, towns against towns,” said Raymond D. Kemble, a mechanic who is one of the residents who sued the Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. … Kemble, 57, has refused to sign a settlement with Cabot, although most of the litigants have recently come to terms with the gas driller. The settlement was reached after state and federal environmental regulators tested the water repeatedly and found no reason to intervene. The tests devastated the strength of the litigants’ claims. “I’m not saying I’m satisfied with the settlement,” said Bill Ely, 61, who has signed a nondisclosure agreement and can’t talk about details. “I’m not saying I’m dissatisfied. I’m just glad it’s over.”

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