EPA: Fracking did not contaminate Dimock groundwater
Crusading residents of the Pennsylvania town of Dimock had long claimed that their groundwater was contaminated with toxic chemicals from natural gas drilling using fracking. The residents and groups of environmentalists had accused the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection of covering up key facts regarding the alleged contamination and had called upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to perform a study to uncover the facts of the matter. Now, the EPA has determined that contamination of groundwater in Dimock can all be explained by contamination by natural sources.
“In all cases the residents have now or will have their own treatment systems that can reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to acceptable levels at the tap. EPA has provided the residents with all of their sampling results and has no further plans to conduct additional drinking water sampling in Dimock,” the EPA said in a press release. “Based on the outcome of [its] sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.”
Some Dimock residents were not convinced, even in spite of the EPA ruling. “I don’t care what EPA says. The water is still polluted,” resident Ray Kemble said. “Do something about it.”
USDA faces Meatless Monday backlash
As drought conditions ravaged ranches across the country, the United States Department of Agriculture backed a so-called “Meatless Monday” initiative, which claims to promote awareness of environmental issue linked to the meat industry. Meat industry advocates reacted strongly to the program, which encourages USDA employees to refrain from consuming meat on Mondays.
“One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the “Meatless Monday” initiative,” a USDA newsletter said. “This international effort, as the name implies, encourages people not to eat meat on Mondays.”
“How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. According to the U.N., animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases.”
Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran is not amused. “Never in my life would I have expected USDA to be opposed to farmers and ranchers,” Moran said in a statement. “American farmers and ranchers deserve a USDA that will pursue supportive policies rather than seek their further harm. With extreme drought conditions plaguing much of the United States, the USDA should be more concerned about helping drought-stricken producers rather than demonizing an industry reeling from the lack of rain.”