Anti-natural gas drilling activists travelled from New York City this week to deliver fresh water to residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania. The trip was as much of an effort to help the residents, as it was an effort to raise awareness of potential health hazards associated with Marcellus Shale drilling.
Dimock has become known as the town where residents can set their tap water on fire. Cabot Oil and Gas had been supplying affected residents with clean water. But the company ended their deliveries a week ago, after the Department of Environmental Protection said that the water was safe to drink.
Holding a muddy jar of water that reportedly came from the one of the resident's wells, actor Mark Ruffalo spoke to a crowd of about 100 people gathered around the water that was to be delivered.
"We're not Republicans. We're not Democrats. We're not Independents. We're not anti-fracking. We're not pro-fracking. We're Americans," said Ruffalo, "and our water is the most essential thing to all of our lives, and we have to protect it, and we have to be generous to the people who have lost this very, very basic privilege."
Ruffalo urged the community of Dimock to rally behind those who say that their water remains contaminated. But the issue has divided the community. A pro-drilling group of Dimock residents said that the water is safe to drink and the water delivery is unnecessary.
Ruffalo's group, Defend Water, raised money for the water delivery.