Dangerous levels of radioactivity found at fracking waste site in Pennsylvania
Bloomberg Businessweek reports on the latest fracking crisis...
Radiation in US Creek Seen as Legacy of Fracking Waste
By Jim Efstathiou Jr. | BusinessWeek
Naturally occurring radiation brought to the surface by gas drillers has been detected in a Pennsylvania creek that flows into the Allegheny River, illustrating the risks of wastewater disposal from the boom in hydraulic fracturing.
Sediment in Blacklick Creek contained radium in concentrations 200 times above normal, or background levels, according to the study, published today in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The radium, along with salts such as bromide, came from the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility about 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh, a plant that treats wastewater from oil and gas drilling.
“The absolute levels that we found are much higher than what you allow in the U.S. for any place to dump radioactive material,” Avner Vengosh, a professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and co-author of the study, said in an interview. “The radium will be bio-accumulating. You eventually could get it in the fish.”
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking has been blamed for contaminating streams and private water wells after spills from wastewater holding ponds or leaks from faulty gas wells. Today’s report exposes the risks of disposing of the surging volumes of waste from gas fracking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing new standards for disposing of gas drilling waste.
Read the full article at: businessweek.com
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