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Company Accused Of Violating State Laws And Polluting Westmoreland County Couple's Well Water

NEW ALEXANDRIA, Pa. (KDKA) -- A state grand jury has handed down an indictment against a company accused of violating state law and polluting a Westmoreland County couple's water well.

The Mioduskis say they were assured by Sunoco that their drinking water would be fine after the company ran part of a pipeline through the couple's New Alexandria property. But the couple said not only is the water not fine, but it's so bad that they would not even give the water to their animals to drink.

dirty water westmoreland county
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"The best in the world," Alice Mioduski said. "It never ran out, clear and clean we called it. The nectar of the gods."

Now it looks much different.

"Our water is not drinkable right now. We don't have water. Our well is contaminated," Alice Mioduski said.

According to the couple and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, the water ended up that way after Sunoco put pipelines in.

The 20- and 16-inch lines, all part of the Mariner East II pipeline, were taken over by a company called Energy Transfer LP. Investigators say the company violated the state's Clean Stream Law 28 times, including allegations the company engaged in unauthorized horizontal drilling, hired subcontractors who used illegal drilling fluids and used inexperienced workers unfamiliar with the state's regulations and geology.

"They brought in a 1,500-gallon water buffalo, filled it, and said here's your water," Alice Mioduski said.

Alice Mioduski said that is all Sunoco did to try to solve the problem.

"I won't drink it," Alice Mioduski said.

According to the 64-page indictment against Energy Transfer LP, the water in the Mioduski's well is polluted with white blobs of bentonite. In response, the company told the Mioduskis they'd install a special filter to clear up the well water. But since then?

"Nobody is responding to anything," Ed Mioduski said.

The Mioduskis told KDKA that the whole thing would be easily resolved if Energy Transfer LP would just drill a new well, which Ed Mioduski said the company agreed to consider. But so far, plans to drill a well have come up dry.

"I can never get an answer off them," Ed Mioduski said. "I guess they're trying to wait till they die. That's the way I'm looking at it."

KDKA reached out to Energy Transfer LP for comment but is awaiting a response.

If found guilty of the charges, the company could end up paying millions in fines.

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