Texas driller to pay $4.1M over tainted Pa. water

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has dropped its plan to force a Houston-based drilling company to pay nearly $12 million to extend a public water line to residents whose wells have been contaminated with methane gas.

Environmental regulators say Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. instead will pay residents a total of $4.1 million under a settlement announced late Wednesday. The company also has agreed to pay to install whole-house gas mitigation systems in each of the 19 affected homes.

Environmental Secretary John Hanger says each family will receive an amount equal to twice the value of its home, with a minimum payment of $50,000.

Hanger's plan to connect residents to a public water system several miles away had provoked significant opposition among local officials, who had threatened to sue to block it.