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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tioga County Townships Spread 155,000 Gallons Of Radioactive Brine On Roads In 2009 For Dust Control

Drilling Down
Wastewater Recycling No Cure-All in Gas Process

By Ian Urbina
New York Times

As drilling for natural gas started to climb sharply about 10 years ago, energy companies faced mounting criticism over an extraction process that involves pumping millions of gallons of water into the ground for each well and can leave significant amounts of hazardous contaminants in the water that comes back to the surface.

So, in a move hailed by industry as a major turning point, drilling companies started reusing and recycling the wastewater.

“Water recycling is a win-win,” one drilling company, Range Resources, says on its Web site. “It reduces fresh water demand and eliminates the need to dispose of the water.”

But the win-win comes with significant asterisks.

In Pennsylvania, for example, natural-gas companies recycled less than half of the wastewater they produced during the 18 months that ended in December, according to state records.

Nor has recycling eliminated environmental and health risks. Some methods can leave behind salts or sludge highly concentrated with radioactive material and other contaminants that can be dangerous to people and aquatic life if they get into waterways.

Some well operators are also selling their waste, rather than paying to dispose of it. Because it is so salty, they have found ready buyers in communities that spread it on roads for de-icing in the winter and for dust suppression in the summer. When ice melts or rain falls, the waste can run off roads and end up in the drinking supply. More...


Anonymous said...

Learn how to use the DEP's e-facts website and you can read the authorization for permitting alternate waste management practices here in Potter!

Anonymous said...

Radium contaminated road salting? 700 times the acceptable levels? Can you say Lung Cancer?

Anonymous said...

I have never understood how it is "safe" for the environment, animals, and humans to spread brine on the roads! It is not just the salty water...what else is in there that no one is talking about? Yes, the rain may dilute it, but why add junk to our "clean" streams and earth?

Anonymous said...

Its funny how there doesn't seem to be any protests to the environmental damage that is being done by all this drilling (where is "Save God's Country") but heaven forbid that anyone put up an environmentally friendly wind turbine! Stupid stupid STUPID people!!!!!

saveourstreamspa said...

10:00 We are planning peaceful protest events.Keep an eye out for announcements on our facebook page and blog.

Anonymous said...

Supreme Court ruling says we can protest all we want and it 100% legally protected. Freedom of speech now protected.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech is all we get left ! nothing more .

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anyone ever look at what the state highway crews and local townships dump on the roads that goes strait into the rivers and streams?

Anonymous said...

I agree, it is time to come out in numbers and show or state and county official where the bear shits in the woods! The greedy ae only getting more greedy and who does it benefit? The same people who benefited in the Adelphia hay days - that's who. Look around - you will see.

Anonymous said...

Look around - you will see...

Motels, food stores, resturants period.

Anonymous said...

this is pure greed-driven insanity. now we can test the air before and after drilling in addition to the water. when people begin dying from lung cancer in droves in the years to come, where will these drillers be? if corbett and his backers keep this up, the peaceful protests will likely change to something else entirely.

Anonymous said...

Did our state knowingly keep knowledge of the radioactive waste away from the citizens of PA. And in doing so, fail to protect us from the risks associated with the radioactive waste produced from so many Marcellus Shale wells.

Are the people in Potter considered expendable in order to help balance the State's budget without inconveniencing those who stand to make a profit from it?

Why should we all be put at heightened risk for the benefit of the relative few?

Shouldn't our state and the gas industry that has known about the radiation from the shale for years ensure the people their water has not been impacted and pay to test everyone's well water for radium,barium,
uranium,benzene and gross alpha?

Are they going to test the streams flowing from the Marcellus Well sites for radiation?

What about the streams flowing from the Fisk Hollow Site and the Pine Hill site. The sites that The New York Times reported produced radioactive waste that tested extremely high?

Why does the state fine waste haulers for spills and then allow them to intentionally spray highly radioactive waste water on roads for dust control?
Do they turn off the spray when they pass bus stops and schools or are our children expendable if it saves the gas industry waste treatment fees?

Is the Marcellus Shale task force testing the soil and streams for radiation near the well sites?

Are the trucks transporting the radioactive waste going to continue to be allowed to drive on the roads with our school buses?

Will the Potter County Marcellus Shale Gas Task Force please address the associated public health risks and the radioactive waste issue?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

One radioactive spill will take 1600 years to go away.

Anonymous said...

Greedy??? Hotels, Motels, Food Services, Contractors, Landlords; Media; Elected Officials, Attorneys - just about anyone who thinks they can make a fast buck on this venture - that's who's GREEDY? Whoops - I take that back - they're just multi-tasking - right? No sour grapes here PH - facts. Can you handle it?

Anonymous said...

The New York Times is doing great reporting on this. Thanks to Solomon's for posting it here for all to read.