Recently released testing results in western Pennsylvania, upstream from Pittsburgh, reveal evidence of radioactive contamination in water flowing from an abandoned mine. Experts say that the radioactive materials may have come from illegal dumping of shale fracking wastewater.
Regulators had previously found radioactivity levels that exceeded EPA's drinking water standards over 60-fold in waters in the same area, which is roughly 3 miles upstream from a drinking water intake, but those test results were only made public after a local environmental group obtained them through open records requests.
At the end of July, the West Virginia Water Research Institute released the results from its tests of water flowing from an abandoned coal mine.
Most of the sampling results showed no detectable radioactivity, but one test result showed roughly 13 picocuries per liter (pci/l) of gross alpha radioactivity, just below EPA's drinking water limits, confirming the presence of radioactive materials in the mine's discharge.
“There’s something going on there that’s not right,” Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institutetold the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The radiation, together with higher bromide levels than you would expect to see coming out of a deep mine, point to drilling wastewater.”Read the rest of that article by clicking here.
Meanwhile, in another report from DeSmogBlog:
The Chichura family has flammable well water, most likely due to a fracking job gone wrong in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County. Their water well, along with those of four of their neighbors, was allegedly contaminated with methane in the fall of 2011, shortly after Cabot Oil started drilling operations near their home.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) confirmed the Chichuras had methane in their water on September 21, 2011, and advised them to equip their well with a working vent to avoid a possible ignition.
The contamination of wells is not an anomaly. The DEP identified 245 sites potentially contaminated by the fracking industry between 2008 and 2014.
As leaseholders with Cabot, the Chichuras believed the company would take care of them if anything went wrong. “Accidents will happen,” was the family’s thinking when their water first went bad, Elaine Chichura told DeSmog.
But four years later, after being unable to come to an agreement with Cabot on how much the company should compensate them for the loss of the value of their home, their diminished quality of life, and the length of time the company is obligated to deliver water to them, they doubt that Cabot has any intention of doing the right thing.Read that whole article by clicking here.
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