Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hydrofracking News Briefs

Rejected drilling waste taken to Idaho

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has confirmed that containers holding radioactive drill cuttings that were rejected in April by the Max Environmental Technologies disposal site in South Huntingdon Township have been transported to Idaho for disposal.

“Rice Energy has informed us that they have removed the roll-off boxes containing the TENORM material,” said John Poister, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. “They have provided us documentation that the material was sent to a U.S. Ecology site in Idaho for proper disposal.” TENORM is an acronym for technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material. It occurs when the levels of radioactivity that are present naturally are increased by human activities.

The Rice Energy truck carrying the drill cuttings from a Center Township well site set off the radiation warning system on April 19 while entering Max Environmental. The truck was immediately quarantined and tested to determine what type of radiation it contained, according to Poister. It was determined that the drill cuttings contained Radium 226 at a level of 96 microrem (mrem). Microrem is the measure of the biological effect of absorbed radiation.

Read more at SW Pennsylvania Observer-Reporter

Environmental group warns of fracking waste on NY roads

ALBANY—Despite a moratorium on fracking in New York State, more than a dozen municipalities have received state approval to spread a fracking byproduct on their roads.

The fluid, called production brine, can now be spread on roads in Wyoming, Erie, Cattaraugus, and Seneca counties, according to state documents obtained by Riverkeeper, a group that advocates for cleanup of the Hudson River.

An additional ten municipalities in Allegany and Steuben counties have received state permission to spread waste brine from natural gas storage.

Nine counties have banned the use of fracking brine on their roads because it contains pollutants, according to Riverkeeper scientist Bill Wegner. They include five along the Hudson River in the last year: Albany, Orange, Putnam, Westchester and Rockland.

Article and photo from Capital NY.

Texas drinking water makes pipes and plumbing radioactive

HOUSTON—Radiation has contaminated the underground pipes, water tanks, and plumbing that provide drinking water for much of Central Texas and the famed Texas Hill Country, according to concerned city officials in the region who have tested the pipes with Geiger counters. 

According to local officials, the contamination comes from years of exposure to drinking water that already tests over federal legal limits for radioactive radium. Of even more concern, they say, is that any water quality testing is done before the water runs through the contaminated pipes that could be adding even more radiation.

“It’s a serious concern,” City of Brady Manager James Minor said. “These pipes have so much radioactivity in them, metal recycling places refer to them as they’re ‘hot.’”

Read more at  KHOU TV

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