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Deadly gas not in Versailles homes, DEP says

| Friday, Oct. 12, 2007

A potentially deadly gas found under an Allegheny County town has not been detected in any homes, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced today.

The source of hydrogen sulfide gas that was detected in Versailles earlier this month by the DEP and Allegheny County Health Department officials has not been determined. Versailles residents were upset to discover that federal engineers detected the gas, which smells like rotten eggs, a year ago but did not inform them.

The federal engineers were investigating a methane gas problem in Versailles that arises from hundreds of poorly sealed natural gas wells drilled throughout the town in the early 1900s.

On Monday, DEP contractors plan to remove the casings from a deteriorated and clogged gas well near an affected home on Second Avenue. The methane will be vented away from the home.

The town is waiting for a report about the $1 million federal methane investigation. The report was expected at the end of August. Federal officials have said it is being reviewed by scientists and will be released when they are finished.

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