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Irradiated PA Rivers

March 8, 2011 Leave a comment

PADEP has issued a statement on radiation testing of PA rivers.  It’s quite low on specifics.  What the article fails to include or at least reference:

  1. What were the actual results?  And is there a baseline number – are there historical results of such tests, for comparison?
  2. Was the testing performed at a time when gas effluent would have been expected to be “flushed”?  Obviously, it’s not a 24/7 operation.
  3. Further, the article should explain the relatively small number of wells fracked, versus permitted, in many of the river watersheds mentioned.

Fortunately, the EPA is monitoring the situation and requesting additonal sampling:

Despite the results of Pennsylvania’s tests, the EPA said that concentrations of radium might vary depending on the source and volume of the wastewater as well as the flow of the water body that receives the treated effluent. Therefore, the EPA said, “to ensure public safety, additional sampling is needed.”

The EPA also said that it planned to inspect wastewater treatment facilities in the state’s natural-gas fields and would “utilize our federal authorities to require drinking water and wastewater monitoring if that becomes necessary.”

The common good is such a far-fetched notion these days.

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