Fracking: Radiation Now in Discussion

Fracking: Radiation Now in Discussion by gHale, August 8, 2011, ISSOURCE
The New York State Department of Health has identified Radium-226 as a radionuclide of particular concern in the Marcellus Shale formation deep beneath the Appalachian Mountains. … The brine that returns to the surface can contain up to 16,000 picoCuries per liter of Radium-226,research shows. The discharge limit in effluent for Radium 226 is 60 pCi/L, and the EPA’s drinking water standard is 5 pCi/L. Uranium and Radon-222 are also in water returning to the surface from deep shale wells. In Pennsylvania, produced water has discharged into streams and rivers from the state’s 71,000 wells after conventional wastewater treatment but without radiation testing, according to thePittsburgh Post-Gazette and The New York Times, which drew attention to the radioactive contamination earlier this year after studying internal EPA documents. The documents reveal the wastewater, which companies sometimes haul to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharge it into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.

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