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State DEP investigating Plum well water contamination | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

State DEP investigating Plum well water contamination

Michael DiVittorio
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A new Huntley and Huntley Energy Exploration well pad is under construction along Coxcomb Hill Road, in Plum Borough, as seen on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

State Department of Environmental Protection officials are investigating complaints of well water contamination in Plum.

The department received two complaints in August, a few months after the drilling for natural gas at Monroeville-based Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration’s Midas well pad on 92 acres near Coxcomb Hill Road in the borough.

A property owner reported a lack of water, and another complaint sited dirt or debris clogging a water well and filtration system as well as a foul odor coming from drains.

The complaints, obtained by the Tribune-Review, had redacted names and information of person or persons who filed with DEP.

DEP documents also indicate the department conducted water tests at the property and found elevated levels of iron, manganese, turbidity and zinc, all above pre-drill expected levels.

DEP Spokeswoman Lauren Fraley said the company is assumed to be at fault under state law, “if the water supply is within 2,500 feet of an unconventional vertical well bore and the pollution or reduction in supply occurred within 12 months of the latter of completion, drilling, stimulation or alteration of the unconventional well.”

She said the operator must provide temporary water to the property owner until a final determination is made.

“If, at the end of its investigation, DEP concludes that the operator is responsible, then the operator must restore or replace the affected supply with an alternate source of water adequate in quantity and quality for the purposes served by the supply per applicable Pennsylvania regulations,” Fraley said.

The investigation is ongoing. Calls to Huntley & Huntley were not returned.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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A new Huntley and Huntley Energy Exploration well pad is under construction along Coxcomb Hill Road, in Plum Borough, as seen on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.
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