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Landfill Wastewater Showing Elevated Radioactivity

fracking drill rigRadioactivity is showing up in wastewater from gas field landfills in West Virginia that serve as disposal sites for Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling cuttings. 

According to a report by Public News Service, tests on water leaching from the Meadowfill landfill near Bridgeport vary widely.

Water leaching from Meadowfill averaged 250 picocuries per liter last year, according to the report. The clean drinking water standard is 50, but some tests showed spikes as high as 2,000 picocuries or drops to below 40. Wetzel, another landfill taking large amounts of the waste, also showed radioactivity.

Drinking water standards may be too high for use on leached fluids, but officials are relying on the tougher standard because county is not prepared to deal with radioactive waste in municipal garbage dumps.

Concerns about radioactive drill cuttings have prompted state lawmakers to increase monitoring at the landfills. However, state government may not be moving fast enough.

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3 thoughts on “Landfill Wastewater Showing Elevated Radioactivity

  1. Where was this information gathered from? Milli and Micro Rem is a more realistic gage for measuring Radiation. Did they do a background when they were there to compare it to what was being discharged? If not then their information is incorrect. The earth gives off natural radiation and if that wasn’t considered as part of the calculation then this article is very misleading and the writer is a troll.

  2. Actually, the fact that nobody, including EPA, DEP, or the drilling companies, have studies and data indicating REM data is a travesty in itself. Jason, if you don’t like the data then demand that the PA government sanction studies on the effects of radioactivity in shale drill cuttings. Please do, because after what, 7 or 8 years of Marcellus drilling boom in PA there aren’t any!! It might be too late for creating possible superfund sites in the future, but we can stop further health damage by learning about what the hell we are doing to our environment with radiation. 250 piC/L is five times above PA limits, which should be telling you something!!

  3. Fracking waste can be given or sold to state, local municipalities or private companies for ice, snow and “wintery mix” road treatments before, during and after winter storms or for “dust control.” What better way to get rid of fracking waste or “well brine”, “flowback” or “used fracking fluids” then to have in PA at least, filling out a form to the PA DEP and having the fracking wastes declared as having “beneficial use.” Then they are spread over the roadways. The expensive and dangerous radioactive and toxic fracking waste just disappears. Isn’t the “unregulated, invisible hand of the free market” just great? Isn’t this just a creative recycling and responsible environmental practice by these fracking waste companies and drillers? Do you feel safe and protected by your state environmental protection agencies and “responsible” drillers and waste disposal companies?

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