Regulators: Drilling didn’t foul NE Pa. wells

OIL-DRILLING-GAS-PA-PENNSYLVANIA

MONTROSE, Pa. (AP) — State environmental regulators looking into a high-profile case of methane contamination in northeastern Pennsylvania have concluded that gas drilling isn’t to blame.

Anti-fracking celebrities including Yoko Ono and Susan Sarandon visited the Susquehanna County village of Franklin Forks in January as part of a tour of natural-gas drilling sites. The stars met with Matthew and Tammy Manning, who blame the high level of methane in their well water on a natural gas driller, WPX Energy.

But the state Department of Environmental Protection said Monday that its 16-month investigation shows that WPX isn’t responsible. DEP says the methane in the residents’ wells is naturally occurring shallow gas, not production gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.

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