EPA heightens scrutiny of Pa.'s Marcellus Shale

MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press Published:

DIMOCK, Pa. (AP) -- Residents of Pennsylvania's top natural gas-producing town will soon know what may be lurking in their drinking water wells.

Federal regulators are investigating claims of contamination in Dimock, where some residents say drilling ruined their water. The Environmental Protection Agency is testing water from scores of homes. Initial results are expected this week.

The inquiry reflects EPA's effort to ramp up oversight of the Marcellus Shale, a vast underground rock formation believed to hold the nation's largest gas reservoir.

The heightened federal scrutiny rankles politicians in the state capital, where Gov. Tom Corbett's pro-drilling administration accuses EPA of meddling. The complaint echoes those in Texas and Wyoming, where recent EPA findings of contamination are disputed by state officials and energy executives.

The agency says it's doing its job.