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Friday, March 7, 2014

DEP Announces Radiation Levels are Normal after Greene County Well Fire

DEP Announces Radiation Levels are Normal after Greene County Well Fire
Department Provides Update on Chevron Investigation

Pittsburgh – The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Bureau of Radiation Protection (BRP) announced today that data collected in response to the recent Chevron well fire in Greene County showed no radiation levels above normal “background” levels.

“DEP is committed to ensuring public health and safety, and providing open, transparent communication following last month’s Chevron incident,” DEP Secretary Christ Abbruzo said. “Today, we continue that commitment by creating a summary report of our radiological response and keeping citizens updated on our efforts.”

On Feb. 13 and 14, DEP’s BRP responded to the Chevron well fire in Greene County to ensure the public were not being exposed to unsafe radiation levels. Data was collected at three separate sample locations and sent to the DEP Bureau of Labratories for analysis.

Naturally occurring radioactive material is present at some level in all areas. This results in local radiation levels, which are identified as background. To determine if there is an increase in radioactivity, it is necessary to determine the appropriate background level. The difference between a measured level and the background level would represent the increase due to some activity.

The department has begun to collect information on the incident and will conduct an investigation to determine, if possible, a cause and outline what steps might be taken to avoid similar incidents in the future. DEP inspectors continue to visit the site daily to monitor activities on the well pad.

In addition to radiation sampling, DEP has completed all air quality sampling and has started soil sampling this week. These results will also be made available in summary reports when the analyses are completed.

To view the summary report, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on “Oil and Gas,” “Office of Oil and Gas Management,” “Oil and Gas Related Topics” and then “Radiation Protection.”

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