The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered a natural gas company in Forth Worth, Texas, to take immediate action to protect homeowners living near one of its drilling operations, according to a report by Reuters. Residents in the area have reportedly complained about flammable and bubbling drinking water coming out of their taps.

Reuters says EPA testing has confirmed that extremely high levels of methane in the residents” water pose an imminent and substantial risk of explosion or fire. The EPA has also reportedly found other contaminants including benzene, which can cause cancer, in residents” drinking water.

According to the Reuters report, the EPA cited natural gas drilling near the homes by Range Resources in Parker County, Texas, as the cause or a contributor to the contamination of at least two residential drinking water wells. Parker County is located west of Fort Worth, Texas. Range Resources refuted the claim.

In a related story, Reuters reports New York Governor David Paterson halted hydraulic fracturing in the state until July and ruled no such drilling to take place until environmental regulators deem it safe.

To read the full Reuters report on the New York moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, click here.

To read the full Reuters report on the Texas water contamination, click here.