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Radioactive Water From Fracking Found in Pennsylvania Creek According to Duke Study
By Laura Beans
A Duke University study published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found dangerously high levels of radiation in a creek near a drilling wastewater treatment facility in Pennsylvania.
The study, Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania, was conducted over a period of two years from the summer of 2010 to the fall of 2012 and analyzed water samples discharged downstream of the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility into Blacklick Creek in the Allegheny River watershed, according to StateImpact, a project of National Public Radio. Sediment found in the creek contained levels of radium that were 200 times greater than normal levels, along with high levels of salts like chloride and bromide in the surface water.
These elements are naturally occurring and released during the fracking process. Radioactive brine, known as “flowback,” is typically shipped to centers like the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility or injected into wells.
“The recent Duke University study that found increased levels of radiation in a Pennsylvania creek linked to liquid waste from oil and gas drilling should serve as a wakeup call to Governor Kasich," said Food & Water Watch Ohio organizer Alison Auciello. "It should also make him think twice about accepting waste from oil and gas drilling operations in other states."
Last year, more than 14 million barrels of toxic waste from oil and gas drilling were injected into the ground in Ohio’s Class II disposal wells, with more than half of the wastewater coming from out-of-state. These injection wells, essential to the fracking industry, pose a series of threats to groundwater supplies and human health, and have been linked to increased seismic activity.
“What’s particularly alarming about the study’s finding for Ohio is that the waste from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas drillers that isn’t being adequately treated in Pennsylvania is being imported into our state for injection, with little to no testing for radioactivity," continued Auciello.
“The Ban Injection Wells coalition in Ohio has been instrumental in getting legislation introduced in the state House and Senate that would not only ban oil and gas waste injection wells, it would the stop discharge of the waste coming to treatment plants not equipped to treat radioactivity," said Auciello. "The Buckeye State should not be used as a dumping ground for drilling waste from any state. This legislation should be passed immediately to protect current and future generations of Ohioans.”
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.
By Emily Moran
If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."
By Catherine Davidson
Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.
Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.