Residents of Pa. drilling town near settlement


Residents of a northeastern Pennsylvania town who say their well water was poisoned by a Texas gas driller are nearing a settlement of their federal lawsuit.

Court documents filed this week indicate residents in the tiny community of Dimock Township have agreed to a confidential settlement with Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

Dimock became a flashpoint in the national debate over gas drilling and a technique called hydraulic fracturing after residents claimed in 2009 that Cabot polluted their water supply with methane gas and toxic chemicals. The Houston-based driller denied responsibility. Federal environmental regulators tested the aquifer this year and found the water to be safe to drink.

Court documents say Cabot offered to settle in May and June. The case could wrap up within the next few months.

Scranton's The Times-Tribune newspaper was first to report the settlement.