Mayor Ryan: Reopen EPA Investigation

By Perry Russom

August 21, 2013 Updated Aug 21, 2013 at 11:25 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Mayor Matt Ryan is asking President Obama to reopen the Environmental Protection Agency investigation on hydraulic fracturing in Dimock, Pa.

The Dimock discussion has been rekindled by Obama's Friday visit and a recent article published in the Los Angeles Times.

In the article, the LA Times mentioned a leaked internal PowerPoint presentation by the Environmental Protection's Agency regarding 11 wells around Dimock.

Action News received a copy of the PowerPoint slide.

It says methane is released "perhaps during the fracking process," which is different from previous findings released to the public.

"The Pennsylvania constitution guarantees citizens the right to clean water," said Montrose Borough Councilwoman Julanne Skinner. "That is at stake. We urge the president this EPA study has got to be opened."

The investigation in Dimock ended last summer, but some on the anti-fracking side say this is enough to demand the investigation be reopened.

"President Obama needs to get control of his EPA and make the correct phone calls and get them to open up this investigation," said Catskill Mountainkeeper Wes Gillingham. "This is really important for the people of this county."

They say the EPA is ignoring clear evidence of drinking water contamination.

Bob Williams, director of the pro-fracking Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, said he doubts the EPA would reopen the case.

"I actually trust the regulatory agencies," said Williams. "I don't trust Mrs. Jones down the street or Mr. Brown up the road. I like to rely my information on the Environmental Protection Agency and the DEP. They have nothing to gain by changing the data."

Ryan said if he has the chance to meet the president on Friday, he will probably hand him a letter explaining his position on the fracking debate.