Study of Radioactive Fracking Waste Spurs Debate Over Ohio's Injection Well Policies

From The Marietta Times:
Highly radioactive wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations in Pennsylvania could be making its way into Ohio's deep well injection sites, according to a report by the United States Geological Survey.
Between 2009 and 2011, the USGS tested 52 samples of Marcellus shale wastewater, otherwise known as brine, from wells in Pennsylvania and New York. The resulting report, compiled in December, found that many of the samples contained radiation levels that would be 242 times higher than the federal safety limit for drinking water.
Because Ohio does not have laws prohibiting the disposal of other states' hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," waste, Ohio accepts a significant amount of fracking waste from out of state.
Last year, 54 percent of the 12.5 million barrels of brine disposed of in Ohio were from out of state, with quite a bit coming from Pennsylvania, said Heidi Hetzel-Evans, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
However, Terry Fleming, the executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, said he thinks comparing the radiation in the brine to that legally found in drinking water is very misleading.
"This waste water never touches drinking water," said Fleming.
Read the rest of the article here.

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