Pennsylvania American Water Company, one of America's best water companies, announced that it will begin testing water for the pollutants the reporter for the NYT highlights in the February 27th article. Thank you Pennsylvania American Water Company which operates 5 water plants in the Pittsburgh region
PAWC spokesman Terry M. Maenza is quoted in today's Philadelphia Inquirer (http://www.phillynews.com/) as saying that PAWC will do "a battery of radiological tests during the next few weeks."
Mr. Maenza goes on to say: "We expect that there will be no cause for concern." Of course you have to read about this information in the Philadelphia Inquirer and other papers but not from the NYT.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will also test. Thank you to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority as well.
If the results come back that the water is unsafe for radium or the pollutants identified by the NYT, I will be the first to urge that the new rule enacted in August 2010 and used in permits since 2009 was not tough enough and must be still further strengthened. The August 2010 rule was supported by Pennsylvania's drinking water companies and the Philadelphia Water Department and opposed by other business interests that argued it was too expensive and strict. Yet, if the results show that the water does not meet safety standards, the new August 2010 rule will have been proven to be inadequate.
If, however, the results come back that the water meets safety standards, then Pennsylvanians can have their peace of mind restored. They will also have had a strong lesson about the reliability of the NYT that wrote this piece, printed it on Sunday, the night of the Academy Awards, when Gasland added to the sizzle of the night. The NYT also promoted this piece on its website next to material about a celebrity anti-drilling activist.
In the event that the results are that the water is safe, I will urge that a new reporter be assigned to write a piece that is at least as long (over 3,800 words in main article plus document readers in addition) that tells the nation that Pennsylvania's water is safe, and that Pennsylvania has the strongest gas drilling oversight in the nation.
Let me tell the NYT now the following: I would be glad to be interviewed no matter the results. I can be reached through this blog or other well known contact information.
But I would request that any quotations attributed to me in the story written about the results come from an actual interview of me by a new, credible NYT reporter and not to repeat the practice of putting words in my mouth taken from my thousands of past interviews with other reporters at other times in other places and contexts. Hopefully that is a small request.