On September 19th, 2011, DEP issued a notice of violation to Cabot Oil & Gas Corp for contaminating a private water well in Lenox Township in Susquehanna County. Unlike in Dimock, the now infamous site of the first Cabot gas migration case, where no pre-gas drilling testing of the 18 private water wells most at issue was done, Cabot did test the water well in Lenox Township for methane prior to gas drilling.
The September 19th, 2011 DEP notice of violation states the pre-gas drilling water test found methane levels at 0.290 milligrams per Liter (mg/L) or very low.
Methane levels in two samples taken after gas drilling were at 49.200 mg/L on August 16th and 57.600 mg/L or dangerously high.
These Lenox Township pre-drilling and then post-drilling test results are going to make it hard to claim or find that methane was naturally occurring or pre-existing, as Cabot did in the case of 18 water wells in Dimock that DEP found had been contaminated from 2009 to at least January 2012 by methane migration due to poor drilling.
The NOV states that inspections of three nearby gas wells found "natural gas between the various casing strings of the three wells."
As usual, Laura Legere of the Scranton Times is on the story. See
http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dep-cabot-drilling-caused-methane-in-lenox-water-wells-1.1255056#axzz1iy0Vd4tk. The article includes a link to the DEP notice of violation. Legere also writes that a DEP video, taken inside one of the suspected gas wells, showed improper construction of a casing string.
Legere's article speaks of 3 water wells being contaminated by methane. My read of the NOV to which the story links mentions only one water well. It is possible that separate NOVs were issued for two more water wells.
Why is this news coming to light 4 months after the NOV was issued? DEP states that the information was mistakenly not posted on the website.
There is likely much more to follow on this story.