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Radioactivity problem in tapping natural gas

Tests show high concentration of radioactive waste in Marcellus The Ithaca Journal By Tom Wilber •twilber@gannett.com • December 6, 2009, Radioactive waste from the Marcellus is an issue state regulators will have to anticipate as they draft new rules for tapping the massive natural gas field under the Southern Tier.
An analysis of wastewater samples by the Department of Health found levels of radium-226, and related alpha and beta radiation that are up to 10,000 times higher than drinking water standards, according to a memo the agency sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
That means the DEC will have to do more testing to identify drilling sites that pose radiation risks, and ensure hot drilling waste is handled and disposed of properly, according to records from the state……….
….Environmentalists are citing radioactivity as yet another hazard that justifies holding up development in New York state. Much of the debate has involved risks associated with fracking — a process to pump millions of gallons of water and chemical additives into the Marcellus Shale to fracture the bedrock and stimulate gas production.It also produces waste, including fracking fluid, brine and heavy metals from the ground. Radioactivity of these components can vary from site to site, the health department reports. Three samples tested ranged from 14,530 to 123,000 picocuries of radiation per liter. The federal limit for radiation in public drinking water is 15.

Tests show high concentration of radioactive waste in Marcellus | theithacajournal.com | The Ithaca Journal

December 7, 2009 - Posted by | 1, environment, USA | ,

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