Out Of Control: Nova Scotia’s Experience with Fracking for Shale Gas, Analysis Reserve Pit Sludge from Fracing for Radioactive Material (TENORM)

Out Of Control: Nova Scotia’s Experience [with] Fracking for Shale Gas by Barb Harris, with John Cascadden, Angela Giles, Kris MacLellan, Ken Summers, Jennifer West, and Michael Whalen, April 2013, Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition
This report is a must-read for all concerned about the extensive proposed shale gas development in Hants County and other areas of the province, and how it could affect Nova Scotia’s future. … The…report was written using documents obtained through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Out of Control – Full Report

The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition
recommends either:

  • A 10- year legislated moratorium on shale gas and fracking exploration and development. After 10 years, the province will be in a better position to evaluate, based on scientific evidence, whether shale gas can be extracted safely. Or,
  • Ban shale gas and fracking now. Some jurisdictions have decided that there is enough evidence already to ban shale gas development. Nova Scotia could do the same.

Out of Control – Summary

Supporting Documents


All original documents can be found here.

[Refer also to:

Shale truck sets off alarm in South Huntingdon by Paul Peirce, April 23, 2013, Tribune-Review
A truck loaded with Marcellus shale drill cuttings that triggered a radiation alarm at a hazardous waste landfill in South Huntingdon was ordered back to a Greene County drilling site last weekend. Township Supervisor Mel Cornell said the MAX Environmental Technologies truck was quarantined Friday after it set off a radiation alarm at MAX’s landfill near Yukon, a 159-acre site that accepts residual waste and hazardous waste. DEP spokesman John Poister confirmed the drill cutting materials from Rice Energy’s Thunder II pad in Greene County had a radiation level of 96 microrem. The landfill must reject any waste with a radiation level that reaches 10 microrem or higher. “It’s low-level radiation, but we don’t want any radiation in South Huntingdon,” Cornell said. … “The material in question was radium 226, which is what we expect from shale drill cuttings. Every landfill in the state has radiation monitors and this showed the system did work,” Poister said. … Because of concern over radiation levels in byproducts associated with the oil and natural gas development industry, the DEP was directed earlier this year by Gov. Tom Corbett to undertake a comprehensive study of the issue. Poister said the study is ongoing.

Analysis of Reserve Pit Sludge from Unconventional Natural Gas Hydraulic Fracturing and Drilling Operations for the Presence of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) by Rich, AL, and Crosby EC. January 2013. New Solut. 2013 Jan 1;23(1):117-35. doi: 10.2190/NS.23.1.h. University of Texas at Arlington.

Soil and water (sludge) obtained from reserve pits used in unconventional natural gas mining was analyzed for the presence of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM). Samples were analyzed for total gamma, alpha, and beta radiation, and specific radionuclides: beryllium, potassium, scandium, cobalt, cesium, thallium, lead-210 and -214, bismuth-212 and -214, radium-226 and -228, thorium, uranium, and strontium-89 and -90. Laboratory analysis confirmed elevated beta readings recorded at 1329 ± 311 pCi/g. Specific radionuclides present in an active reserve pit and the soil of a leveled, vacated reserve pit included 232Thorium decay series (228Ra, 228Th, 208Tl), and 226Radium decay series (214Pb, 214Bi, 210Pb) radionuclides. The potential for impact of TENORM to the environment, occupational workers, and the general public is presented with potential health effects of individual radionuclides. Current oversight, exemption of TENORM in federal and state regulations, and complexity in reporting are discussed. PMID: 23552651 [PubMed – in process]

November 2012 – EnCana’s drilling waste at Rosebud

CAPP’s 2006 Best Management [Voluntary] Practices for NGC/CBM:  “Drilling fluids are transported, stored and handled in tanks. Typically, drilling fluid waste will be transported off-site for re-use and treatment/disposal…. Some additives may be caustic, toxic, or acidic.” [Emphasis added]

Arsenic Uptake in Homegrown Vegetables from Mining-Affected Soils ]

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