Last Month:Natural Gas Fracking Industry forced to release radioactivity numbers

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Offline Dig

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12 Days before the False Flag...



Radioactivity in water and natural gas fracking
http://patzek-lifeitself.blogspot.com/2011/02/radioactivity-in-water-and-natural-gas.html
Sunday, February 27, 2011

In this post I attempt to provide a context for an article in NYT, Drilling Down: Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers by IAN URBINA, published on February 26, 2011.  The article seems to imply that much of the potentially deadly radioactive contamination of drinking water supply in Pennsylvania comes from "frac water" produced after hydrofracturing the deep natural gas wells there.  Such an assertion is not supported by facts, and here is why.

The raw data from the NYT spreadsheet, emailed to me by Mr. Urbina, are plotted here.  In the spreadsheet, there are up to five different measurements of radioactivity in the water produced from each of 212 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania.  Total alpha radiation refers to all alpha-particle-emitting radioisotopes present in the produced water.  In some wells there were additional measurements of alpha-radioactivity from two isotopes of radium and two isotopes of uranium.  By subtraction, the difference of between the total alpha radioactivity and those of the other radio-isotopes can be attributed mostly to radon.

Drinking groundwater can have trace quantities of dozens of  the naturally occurring radioactive elements. Radon 222 is a ubiquitous naturally occurring radioactive gas that is water-soluble. Radon's decay in air or water is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The fast-decaying radon is produced during radioactive decay of uranium 238 and thorium 232 that have been in the earth's crust since the earth was formed.

A picocurie per liter is 0.037 radon atoms giving out radiation in one second in one liter of water, or 1 atom of radon giving out radiation in 1 second in 27 liters of water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 10,000 pCi/L of radon in water translates to about 1 pCi/L of radon in air.

The maximum total alpha-particle (mostly from radon, but in some wells also from radium-226 and -228, and uranium- 235 and -238) emissions measured in water produced from two natural gas wells in Pennsylvania were 32,360 pCi/L and 40,880 pCi/L, respectively. I will address the much smaller radium and uranium radioactivity in the produced water  and the dilution factors in a later post.

The current "action level" for airborne radon is 4 pCi/L. The EPA recommends that action be taken to lower airborne radon if it exceeds 4 pCi/L in your home. While there are no EPA standards for radon in water now, a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 300 pCi/L and an Alternative Maximum Contaminant Level (AMCL) of 4,000 pCi/L for public water supplies have been proposed.

Water directly out of the tap contains about 0.01 pCi/L each of uranium, radium, and radioactive lead. It may also contain between 100 and 400 pCi/L of radioactive hydrogen, between 100 and 500 pCi/L of radioactive carbon, between 10 and 30 pCi/L of radioactive beryllium, as well as a variety of other radioactive elements such as aluminum, chlorine, silicon, lead, bismuth, polonium, and argon. It can contain several hundred to several thousand pCi/L of radon gas, particularly if you get your drinking water from a well.

We have about 120,000 picocuries of radioactivity in our bodies from all sources. These naturally-occurring radioactive substances expose our bodies to about 25 "millirem" per year, abbreviated as "mrem/yr". (Millirem measures energy of radiation, like heat.)  If you live in Denver, you are exposed to 50 millirems per year. A single CT-scan test exposes you to up to 1,000 mrems of radiation.  CT radiation alone contributes 1/4 of U.S. population's radiation exposure!

Public groundwater supplies seem to have the highest radon levels in places where the water flows through granites in the Piedmont. (The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the north to central Alabama in the south.)

The highest readings there have been well over 10,000 pCi/L. The lowest concentrations occur in the coastal plain region, where many readings are below 100 pCi/L. Concentrations from about 500 to 10,000 pCi/L occur in groundwater water samples drawn from metamorphic rocks, such as the gneisses and schists found in the piedmont and mountain regions.  Both types of rock are used as building materials.

In conclusion, the two highest radon concentrations measured in frac water back-produced from natural gas wells in Pennsylvania are in line with some groundwater samples in the region.

A high concentration of radon in the groundwater in your area does not necessarily mean that there will be a high concentration of radon in your drinking water. Radon escapes harmlessly into the air when water is being treated for use in a municipal system. Also, radon decays into other substances over time while the water is being stored. Municipal systems that mix surface water—a lake or a river—with groundwater will have lower waterborne radon levels.

High levels of waterborne radon tend to occur in homes on an individual well or a community well system (serving up to about 100 homes) if the groundwater has a high level of radon.  However, a private groundwater well should not receive the produced frac water.

Based on a second 1999 NAS report on radon in drinking water, EPA estimates that radon in drinking water causes about 168 cancer deaths per year, 89 percent from lung cancer caused by breathing in radon released from water, and 11 percent from stomach cancer caused by drinking radon-containing water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during the year 2000. The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides, with firearms used in 16,907 suicides in the United States during 2004. Thus, an average U.S. resident is almost 1,000 times more likely to shoot him/herself with a gun, than die from stomach cancer caused by drinking radon-contaminated water. By the way, each year there are about 150,000 lung-cancer deaths the U.S. and 56,000 deaths in traffic accidents.  It is estimated that about 21,000 of the lung-cancer deaths are caused by breathing airborne radon that seeps into our homes from soil. CT scans alone might lead to 29,000 new cancer cases in the U.S.

So, please, pick your risks wisely. Otherwise, you will be frightened and distracted by a mere scary-cat. Instead, you should be watching for a brick falling directly onto your head.


Posted by Tadeusz (Tad) Patzek at 11:51 AM
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Kilika

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Re: Trace amounts of radiation all over America...FROM FRACKING!
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 04:29:22 AM »
Quote
High levels of waterborne radon tend to occur in homes on an individual well or a community well system (serving up to about 100 homes) if the groundwater has a high level of radon.  However, a private groundwater well should not receive the produced frac water.

Based on a second 1999 NAS report on radon in drinking water, EPA estimates that radon in drinking water causes about 168 cancer deaths per year, 89 percent from lung cancer caused by breathing in radon released from water, and 11 percent from stomach cancer caused by drinking radon-containing water.

Yet they insist that smoking is the cause for lung cancer, yet they refuse to talk about radon in the same conversation. (by the way, is that suppose to be 89% or 89 cases?)

Also, is there anyone talking about the cumulative affects of all these various "minute" exposures to various radiation sources? A little here, a little there, and bingo, you got cancer-causing levels of radiation exposure.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
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Offline Dig

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Re: Trace amounts of radiation all over America...FROM FRACKING!
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 04:33:34 AM »
13 Days before the False Flag...



Regulation lax as gas wells’ radioactive water hits rivers
Radioactive dangers to environment and health are greater than previously understood

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41806118/

NEW YORK — The American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush — for natural gas. The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles, like frozen spills of seltzer water between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for heating buildings, generating electricity and powering vehicles for up to a hundred years. So energy companies are clamoring to drill. And they are getting rare support from their usual sparring partners. Environmentalists say using natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. Lawmakers hail the gas as a source of jobs. They also see it as a way to wean the United States from its dependency on other countries for oil. But the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas. With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself. While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood. The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle. Other documents and interviews show that many E.P.A. scientists are alarmed, warning that the drilling waste is a threat to drinking water in Pennsylvania. Their concern is based partly on a 2009 study, never made public, written by an E.P.A. consultant who concluded that some sewage treatment plants were incapable of removing certain drilling waste contaminants and were probably violating the law. The Times also found never-reported studies by the E.P.A. and a confidential study by the drilling industry that all concluded that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways. But the E.P.A. has not intervened. In fact, federal and state regulators are allowing most sewage treatment plants that accept drilling waste not to test for radioactivity. And most drinking-water intake plants downstream from those sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania, with the blessing of regulators, have not tested for radioactivity since before 2006, even though the drilling boom began in 2008. In other words, there is no way of guaranteeing that the drinking water taken in by all these plants is safe.

That has experts worried
“We’re burning the furniture to heat the house,” said John H. Quigley, who left last month as secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “In shifting away from coal and toward natural gas, we’re trying for cleaner air, but we’re producing massive amounts of toxic wastewater with salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials, and it’s not clear we have a plan for properly handling this waste.” The risks are particularly severe in Pennsylvania, which has seen a sharp increase in drilling, with roughly 71,000 active gas wells, up from about 36,000 in 2000. The level of radioactivity in the wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water. While people clearly do not drink drilling wastewater, the reason to use the drinking-water standard for comparison is that there is no comprehensive federal standard for what constitutes safe levels of radioactivity in drilling wastewater. Drillers trucked at least half of this waste to public sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania in 2008 and 2009, according to state officials. Some of it has been sent to other states, including New York and West Virginia. Yet sewage treatment plant operators say they are far less capable of removing radioactive contaminants than most other toxic substances. Indeed, most of these facilities cannot remove enough of the radioactive material to meet federal drinking-water standards before discharging the wastewater into rivers, sometimes just miles upstream from drinking-water intake plants. In Pennsylvania, these treatment plants discharged waste into some of the state’s major river basins. Greater amounts of the wastewater went to the Monongahela River, which provides drinking water to more than 800,000 people in the western part of the state, including Pittsburgh, and to the Susquehanna River, which feeds into Chesapeake Bay and provides drinking water to more than six million people, including some in Harrisburg and Baltimore. Lower amounts have been discharged into the Delaware River, which provides drinking water for more than 15 million people in Philadelphia and eastern Pennsylvania. In New York, the wastewater was sent to two plants that discharge into Southern Cayuga Lake, near Ithaca, and Owasco Outlet, near Auburn. In West Virginia, a plant in Wheeling discharged gas-drilling wastewater into the Ohio River. “Hydrofracking impacts associated with health problems as well as widespread air and water contamination have been reported in at least a dozen states,” said Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, a business in Ithaca, N.Y., that compiles data on gas drilling.

Problems in Other Regions
While Pennsylvania is an extreme case, the risks posed by hydrofracking extend across the country. There were more than 493,000 active natural-gas wells in the United States in 2009, almost double the number in 1990. Around 90 percent have used hydrofracking to get more gas flowing, according to the drilling industry. Gas has seeped into underground drinking-water supplies in at least five states, including Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia, and residents blamed natural-gas drilling. Air pollution caused by natural-gas drilling is a growing threat, too. Wyoming, for example, failed in 2009 to meet federal standards for air quality for the first time in its history partly because of the fumes containing benzene and toluene from roughly 27,000 wells, the vast majority drilled in the past five years. In a sparsely populated Sublette County in Wyoming, which has some of the highest concentrations of wells, vapors reacting to sunlight have contributed to levels of ozone higher than those recorded in Houston and Los Angeles. Industry officials say any dangerous waste from the wells is handled in compliance with state and federal laws, adding that drilling companies are recycling more wastewater now. They also say that hydrofracking is well regulated by the states and that it has been used safely for decades. But hydrofracking technology has become more powerful and more widely used in recent years, producing far more wastewater. Some of the problems with this drilling, including its environmental impact and the challenge of disposing of waste, have been documented by ProPublica, The Associated Press and other news organizations. And recent incidents underscore the dangers. In late 2008, drilling and coal-mine waste released during a drought so overwhelmed the Monongahela that local officials advised people in the Pittsburgh area to drink bottled water. E.P.A. officials described the incident in an internal memorandum as “one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public.” In Texas, which now has about 93,000 natural-gas wells, up from around 58,000 a dozen years ago, a hospital system in six counties with some of the heaviest drilling said in 2010 that it found a 25 percent asthma rate for young children, more than three times the state rate of about 7 percent. “It’s ruining us,” said Kelly Gant, whose 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son have experienced severe asthma attacks, dizzy spells and headaches since a compressor station and a gas well were set up about two years ago near her house in Bartonville, Tex. The industry and state regulators have said it is not clear what role the gas industry has played in causing such problems, since the area has had high air pollution for a while. “I’m not an activist, an alarmist, a Democrat, environmentalist or anything like that,” Ms. Gant said. “I’m just a person who isn’t able to manage the health of my family because of all this drilling.” And yet, for all its problems, natural gas offers some clear environmental advantages over coal, which is used more than any other fuel to generate electricity in the United States. Coal-fired power plants without updated equipment to capture pollutants are a major source of radioactive pollution. Coal mines annually produce millions of tons of toxic waste. But the hazards associated with natural-gas production and drilling are far less understood than those associated with other fossil fuels, and the regulations have not kept pace with the natural-gas industry’s expansion.

Pennsylvania, Ground Zero
Pennsylvania, which sits atop an enormous reserve called the Marcellus Shale, has been called the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. This rock formation, roughly the size of Greece, lies more than a mile beneath the Appalachian landscape, from Virginia to the southern half of New York. It is believed to hold enough gas to supply the country’s energy needs for heat and electricity, at current consumption rates, for more than 15 years. This has brought thousands of jobs, five-figure windfalls for residents who lease their land to the drillers and revenue for a state that has struggled with budget deficits. It has also transformed the landscape of southwestern Pennsylvania and brought heavy burdens. Drilling derricks tower over barns, lining rural roads like feed silos. Drilling sites bustle around the clock with workers, some in yellow hazardous material suits, and 18-wheelers haul equipment, water and waste along back roads. The rigs announce their presence with the occasional boom and quiver of underground explosions. Smelling like raw sewage mixed with gasoline, drilling-waste pits, some as large as a football field, sit close to homes. Anywhere from 10 percent to 40 percent of the water sent down the well during hydrofracking returns to the surface, carrying drilling chemicals, very high levels of salts and, at times, naturally occurring radioactive material. While most states require drillers to dispose of this water in underground storage wells below impermeable rock layers, Pennsylvania has few such wells. It is the only state that has allowed drillers to discharge much of their waste through sewage treatment plants into rivers. Regulators have theorized that passing drilling waste through the plants is safe because most toxic material will settle during the treatment process into a sludge that can be trucked to a landfill, and whatever toxic material remains in the wastewater will be diluted when mixed into rivers. But some plants were taking such large amounts of waste with high salt levels in 2008 that downstream utilities started complaining that the river water was eating away at their machines. Regulators and drilling companies have said that these cases, and others, were isolated. “The wastewater treatment plants are effective at what they’re designed to do — remove material from wastewater,” said Jamie Legenos, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, adding that the radioactive material and the salts were being properly handled.

Overwhelmed, Underprepared
For proof that radioactive elements in drilling waste are not a concern, industry spokesmen and regulators often point to the results of wastewater tests from a 2009 draft report conducted by New York State and a 1995 report by Pennsylvania that found that radioactivity in drilling waste was not a threat. These two reports were based on samples from roughly 13 gas wells in New York and 29 in Pennsylvania.  But a review by The Times of more than 30,000 pages of federal, state and company records relating to more than 200 gas wells in Pennsylvania, 40 in West Virginia and 20 public and private wastewater treatment plants offers a fuller picture of the wastewater such wells produce and the threat it poses.  Most of the information was drawn from drilling reports from the last three years, obtained by visiting regional offices throughout Pennsylvania, and from documents or databases provided by state and federal regulators in response to records requests.

Among The Times’s findings:

-More than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater was produced by Pennsylvania wells over the past three years, far more than has been previously disclosed. Most of this water — enough to cover Manhattan in three inches — was sent to treatment plants not equipped to remove many of the toxic materials in drilling waste.

-At least 12 sewage treatment plants in three states accepted gas industry wastewater and discharged waste that was only partly treated into rivers, lakes and streams.

-Of more than 179 wells producing wastewater with high levels of radiation, at least 116 reported levels of radium or other radioactive materials 100 times as high as the levels set by federal drinking-water standards.

-At least 15 wells produced wastewater carrying more than 1,000 times the amount of radioactive elements considered acceptable.


Results came from field surveys conducted by state and federal regulators, year-end reports filed by drilling companies and state-ordered tests of some public treatment plants. Most of the tests measured drilling wastewater for radium or for “gross alpha” radiation, which typically comes from radium, uranium and other elements.

Industry officials say they are not concerned
“These low levels of radioactivity pose no threat to the public or worker safety and are more a public perception issue than a real health threat,” said James E. Grey, chief operating officer of Triana Energy. In interviews, industry trade groups like the Marcellus Shale Coalition and Energy in Depth, as well as representatives from energy companies like Shell and Chesapeake Energy, said they were producing far less wastewater because they were recycling much of it rather than disposing of it after each job. But even with recycling, the amount of wastewater produced in Pennsylvania is expected to increase because, according to industry projections, more than 50,000 new wells are likely to be drilled over the next two decades. The radioactivity in the wastewater is not necessarily dangerous to people who are near it. It can be blocked by thin barriers, including skin, so exposure is generally harmless.  Rather, E.P.A. and industry researchers say, the bigger danger of radioactive wastewater is its potential to contaminate drinking water or enter the food chain through fish or farming. Once radium enters a person’s body, by eating, drinking or breathing, it can cause cancer and other health problems, many federal studies show.

Little Testing for Radioactivity
Under federal law, testing for radioactivity in drinking water is required only at drinking-water plants. But federal and state regulators have given nearly all drinking-water intake facilities in Pennsylvania permission to test only once every six or nine years. The Times reviewed data from more than 65 intake plants downstream from some of the busiest drilling regions in the state. Not one has tested for radioactivity since 2008, and most have not tested since at least 2005, before most of the drilling waste was being produced. And in 2009 and 2010, public sewage treatment plants directly upstream from some of these drinking-water intake facilities accepted wastewater that contained radioactivity levels as high as 2,122 times the drinking-water standard. But most sewage plants are not required to monitor for radioactive elements in the water they discharge. So there is virtually no data on such contaminants as water leaves these plants. Regulators and gas producers have repeatedly said that the waste is not a threat because it is so diluted in rivers or by treatment plants. But industry and federal research cast doubt on those statements. A confidential industry study from 1990, conducted for the American Petroleum Institute, concluded that “using conservative assumptions,” radium in drilling wastewater dumped off the Louisiana coast posed “potentially significant risks” of cancer for people who eat fish from those waters regularly. The industry study focused on drilling industry wastewater being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico, where it would be far more diluted than in rivers. It also used estimates of radium levels far below those found in Pennsylvania’s drilling waste, according to the study’s lead author, Anne F. Meinhold, an environmental risk expert now at NASA. Other federal, state and academic studies have also found dilution problems with radioactive drilling waste. In December 2009, these very risks led E.P.A. scientists to advise in a letter to New York that sewage treatment plants not accept drilling waste with radium levels 12 or more times as high as the drinking-water standard. The Times found wastewater containing radium levels that were hundreds of times this standard.

The scientists also said that the plants should never discharge radioactive contaminants at levels higher than the drinking-water standard. In 2009, E.P.A. scientists studied the matter and also determined that certain Pennsylvania rivers were ineffective at sufficiently diluting the radium-laced drilling wastewater being discharged into them. Asked about the studies, Pennsylvania regulators said they were not aware of them. “Concerned? I’m always concerned,” said Dave Allard, director of the Bureau of Radiation Protection. But he added that the threat of this waste is reduced because “the dilutions are so huge going through those treatment plants.”

Three months after The Times began asking questions about radioactive and other toxic material being discharged into specific rivers, state regulators placed monitors for radioactivity near where drilling waste is discharged. Data will not be available until next month, state officials said.

But the monitor in the Monongahela is placed upstream from the two public sewage treatment plants that the state says are still discharging large amounts of drilling waste into the river, leaving the discharges from these plants unchecked and Pittsburgh exposed.

Plant Operators in the Dark
In interviews, five treatment plant operators said they did not believe that the drilling wastewater posed risks to the public. Several also said they were not sure of the waste’s contents because the limited information drillers provide usually goes to state officials.  “We count on state regulators to make sure that that’s properly done,” said Paul McCurdy, environmental specialist at Ridgway Borough’s public sewage treatment plant, in Elk County, Pa., in the northwest part of the state.  Mr. McCurdy, whose plant discharges into the Clarion River, which flows into the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, said his plant was taking about 20,000 gallons of drilling waste per day.  Like most of the sewage treatment plant operators interviewed, Mr. McCurdy said his plant was not equipped to remove radioactive material and was not required to test for it.  Documents filed by drillers with the state, though, show that in 2009 his facility was sent water from wells whose wastewater was laced with radium at 275 times the drinking-water standard and with other types of radiation at more than 780 times the standard.  Part of the problem is that industry has outpaced regulators. “We simply can’t keep up,” said one inspector with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection who was not authorized to speak to reporters. “There’s just too much of the waste.”  “If we’re too hard on them,” the inspector added, “the companies might just stop reporting their mistakes.”  Recently, Pennsylvania has tried to increase its oversight, doubling the number of regulators, improving well-design requirements and sharply decreasing how much drilling waste many treatment plants can accept or release. The state is considering whether to require treatment plants to begin monitoring for radioactivity in wastewater.  Even so, as of last November, 31 inspectors were keeping tabs on more than 125,000 oil and gas wells. The new regulations also allowed at least 18 plants to continue accepting the higher amounts set by their original permits.  Furthermore, environmental researchers from the University of Pittsburgh tested wastewater late last year that had been discharged by two treatment plants. They say these tests will show, when the results are publicly released in March, that salt levels were far above the legal limit.

Lax Oversight
Drilling contamination is entering the environment in Pennsylvania through spills, too. In the past three years, at least 16 wells whose records showed high levels of radioactivity in their wastewater also reported spills, leaks or failures of pits where hydrofracking fluid or waste is stored, according to state records.  Gas producers are generally left to police themselves when it comes to spills. In Pennsylvania, regulators do not perform unannounced inspections to check for signs of spills. Gas producers report their own spills, write their own spill response plans and lead their own cleanup efforts.  A review of response plans for drilling projects at four Pennsylvania sites where there have been accidents in the past year found that these state-approved plans often appear to be in violation of the law.  At one well site where several spills occurred within a week, including one that flowed into a creek, the well’s operator filed a revised spill plan saying there was little chance that waste would ever enter a waterway.  “There are business pressures” on companies to “cut corners,” John Hanger, who stepped down as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in January, has said. “It’s cheaper to dump wastewater than to treat it.”

Records back up that assertion
From October 2008 through October 2010, regulators were more than twice as likely to issue a written warning than to levy a fine for environmental and safety violations, according to state data. During this period, 15 companies were fined for drilling-related violations in 2008 and 2009, and the companies paid an average of about $44,000 each year, according to state data.  This average was less than half of what some of the companies earned in profits in a day and a tiny fraction of the more than $2 million that some of them paid annually to haul and treat the waste. In December, the Republican governor-elect, Tom Corbett, who during his campaign took more gas industry contributions than all his competitors combined, said he would reopen state land to new drilling, reversing a decision made by his predecessor, Edward G. Rendell. The change clears the way for as many as 10,000 wells on public land, up from about 25 active wells today.  In arguing against a proposed gas-extraction tax on the industry, Mr. Corbett said regulation of the industry had been too aggressive.  “I will direct the Department of Environmental Protection to serve as a partner with Pennsylvania businesses, communities and local governments,” Mr. Corbett says on his Web site. “It should return to its core mission protecting the environment based on sound science.”
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: Trace amounts of radiation all over America...FROM FRACKING!
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 04:48:55 AM »
Cui Bono Japan Nuke False Flag?

Cui Bono all of the "Japan Radiation Hitting America" Insanity?

Three months after The Times began asking questions about radioactive and other toxic material being discharged into specific rivers, state regulators placed monitors for radioactivity near where drilling waste is discharged. Data will not be available until next month, state officials said.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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3 days before Japan False Flag:


Secretary of Interior Considers Fracking Regulations
http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/03/08/interior-considers-fracking-regulations-pa-says-radioactivity-levels-normal/

The Department of the Interior is considering enacting regulations on the natural gas drilling process known as fracking, as Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced test results showing that river waters downstream of fracking operations have normal or lower amounts of radioactivity.

Interior secretary Ken Salazar told a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources that his agency is considering new regulations requiring drillers to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking, the New York Times reports.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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3 days before Japan False Flag:


Secretary of Interior Considers Fracking Regulations
http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/03/08/interior-considers-fracking-regulations-pa-says-radioactivity-levels-normal/

The Department of the Interior is considering enacting regulations on the natural gas drilling process known as fracking, as Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced test results showing that river waters downstream of fracking operations have normal or lower amounts of radioactivity.

Interior secretary Ken Salazar told a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources that his agency is considering new regulations requiring drillers to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking, the New York Times reports.

More:



The EPA earlier this month released a draft plan to study the impacts of hydrofracking on drinking water. The plan is being reviewed by the agency’s Science Advisory Board this week, and the study will begin soon after, with initial results available by late 2012.

But testifying before Congress on Thursday, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson appeared to signal additional review actions. She said she would order radioactivity testing at treatment plants that receive wastewater from drilling operations, and at drinking water intake stations downstream from the wastewater facilities.

“The E.P.A. is very interested in ensuring that we get data on radioactivity,” Jackson said at hearings of the House appropriations subcommittee on the environment. “I do believe additional information is due the public as a result of that [New York Times] series.”
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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10 days before the false flag...



Report: Fracking’s ‘Radioactive Wastewater’ Discharged into Drinking Water Supplies
http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/03/01/report-frackings-radioactive-wastewater-discharged-into-drinking-water-supplies/

The natural gas drilling process known as hydrofracking poses far more danger to the environment and health than previously understood, the New York Times has reported.

The paper said its analysis of more than 30,000 pages of federal, state and company records relating to more than 200 gas wells shows that radioactive wastewater from the process is sometimes discharged into rivers that supply drinking water to millions of people in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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11 Days before the False Flag



Pittsburgh’s drinking water is radioactive, thanks to fracking
http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-28-pittsburgh-drinking-water-radioactive-fracking-natural-gas-times
by Christopher Mims 28 Feb 2011 6:00 PM


Residents of Pittsburgh -- as well as potentially tens of millions of other everyday citizens in the Northeast corridor who rely on their taps to deliver safe water -- are consuming unknown and potentially dangerous amounts of radium in every glass of water. That's the buried lede in the Sunday New York Times' massive exposé on fracking, the relatively new process for extracting natural gas from the massive shale formation that stretches from Virginia to New York state.

But don't take the Times' word for it: The day the exposé appeared in print, John Hanger, secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection until June 2010, confirmed on his own blog that the main thrust of the story was dead-on: No one has any idea if the radioactive material in the wastewater from fracking is appearing downstream, in drinking water supplies, in quantities in excess of EPA recommendations, and we'd better find out:

    "We must not drift into a war of competing theories or studies. We need the facts. Pennsylvanians deserve nothing less.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection should order today all public water systems in Pennsylvania to test immediately for radium or radioactive pollutants and report as soon as good testing allows the results to the public. Only testing of the drinking water for these pollutants can resolve the issue raised by the NYT."

Hanger also says there are a number of oversights in the Times article: He says it unfairly characterizes Pennsylvania's response to the fracking crisis. Under his tenure, the number of gas-well inspectors doubled and a number of new regulations were put in place -- basically, he makes the case that Pennsylvania would be much worse off if it weren't for its efforts to curb the worst atrocities of fracking.

Industry dodges on the issue of radiation: A rebuttal of the Times piece by an industry group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, does not even address the issue of radium in the wastewater that is dumped from fracking operations into water-treatment plants and thence water sources that are ultimately used by cities for drinking water.

The Coalition does claim that the majority of wastewater from fracking operations in Pennsylvania is reused, however, and that the industry aims for 100 percent reuse. This is great news, if it's achieved -- but you can bet it wouldn't happen in the absence of tough regulation.

What the Times piece and the subsequent responses illustrate is that oversight and environmental protection can work, even in the face of headwinds generated by industry -- but that in this case, regulation has been incomplete, and even those responsible for drafting and enforcing that regulation believe there are legitimate worries about the current state of fracking wastewater in Pennsylvania.

Oscar-nominated doc Gasland covers the other, even more dramatic issues with fracking: Importantly, the radium and wastewater issues are completely independent of the issue of groundwater contamination in the immediate area of fracking operations. The latter is the subject of the documentary Gasland, which was nominated for an Oscar for best feature-length documentary but didn't ultimately win. (Donald Carr reviewed the film for Grist when it first debuted at Sundance.)

Gasland's reach and Oscar nomination brought enough attention to the issue to warrant apparent censorship of industry concessions that the documentary got things right:

"We have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror," Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp., was quoted as saying in [The Wall Street Journal].

However, if you go to the article, you won't find Pitzarella's statement because within the hour the quote disappeared, say citizen journalists, who screen captured it and posted it on Twitter. Gasland director [Josh] Fox, in Los Angeles, awaiting Sunday night's Oscar ceremony, has the screen shot of the original version.

The industry also tried to get Gasland disqualified from the Oscars altogether:

The natural gas industry has spent months attacking the documentary Gasland as a deeply flawed piece of propaganda. After it was nominated for an Oscar, an industry-sponsored PR group asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to reconsider the film's eligibility.

New York state is next -- and the resulting drilling could threaten the drinking water of New York City itself: If the industry has its way, Pennsylvania is just the start. New York state is next, if it's not feeling the effects already -- the Times reported that fracking waste fluids have already been discharged into Cayuga Lake, which abuts Ithaca, N.Y. The Natural Resources Defense Council sees the Times exposé as yet more evidence that fracking is an unsafe technology that warrants a go-slow approach, especially in a state as dependent on natural waterways for its drinking water as New York.

The article makes the important point that in Pennsylvania -- where fracking has exploded over the past few years -- the vast majority of drilling wastewater is being handled in sewage treatment plants that discharge into surface water bodies (like the Susquehanna, Delaware, and Monongahela Rivers, which collectively supply over 21 million people with drinking water). [...]

The same is true in New York. As conceded in the highly flawed draft environmental review document issued by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation in the fall of 2009, wastewaters contaminated with radionuclides and other hazardous substances generated in New York would have to be handled at treatment plants for discharge into surface waterbodies. The document further concedes that there are no adequately permitted facilities to handle this material in the state.

Worth noting: New York City's water supply is unfiltered and comes straight from reservoirs after just minor chlorination. Try doing that after fracking comes to upstate New York
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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13 Days before the false flag...



Rep. Ed Markey: We Need a Full Investigation into Radioactive Natural Gas Fracking
http://www.thestatecolumn.com/state_politics/massachusetts/rep-ed-markey-radioactive-natural-gas-fracking-could-create-new-era-of-love-canals/
The State Column

Rep. Ed Markey released the following statement:

WASHINGTON (February 26, 2011) – Responding to an investigative article published today by The New York Times on the high incidence of radioactive materials and other contaminants in the wastes produced from natural gas extraction, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, immediately questioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its oversight of these extractive practices.

The Times article shows that the radioactively contaminated wastewater derived from the so-called “fracking” process to produce natural gas from shale rock and other formations is being sent to sewage plants that do not have the capacity to remove radioactive radium or other materials, and these hazardous waste materials are then dumped into rivers and streams where they enter our drinking water supplies. Exposure to highly radioactive radium, one of the materials discussed in the Times report, can lead to cancer and other harmful health effects.

“These disturbing revelations raise the prospect that natural gas production has turned our rivers and streams into this generation’s ‘Love Canals,’” said Rep. Markey. “The natural gas industry has repeatedly claimed that fracking can be done safely. We now know we need a full investigation into exactly how fracking is done and what it does to our drinking water and our environment. Americans should not have to consume radioactive materials from their drinking water as a byproduct of natural gas production.”
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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13 Days before the Japan False Flag...

NY Times exposed the following:
Natural Gas Fracking Industry is Hiding Radioactivity Numbers in Well Sites

This immediately led to the following:
Secretary of Interior Salazar and Head of the EPA Jackson Required Full Investigations
Congressional Hearings Called for Immediate Scans of Radiation Levels at All Well Sites
Preliminary reports were over 2,000x the Acceptable Radioactive Levels

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=205227.0


More results were not due until after the Japan False Flag. For the past 24 days we have seen over 100,000 news reports about trace radiation in various parts of America. The fact is that radiation testing has been halted at most wells for the past 5 years...before the fracking industry really started taking off. It is very suspicious that we now have another "culprit" to blame these increased radiation numbers on.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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1 Day before the Japan False Flag



Former Bush EPA Official Says Fracking Exemption Went Too Far
Congress Should Revisit

http://www.thewashingtoncurrent.com/2011/03/former-bush-epa-official-says-fracking.html
Thursday, March 10, 2011 by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica

When Benjamin Grumbles was assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush administration, he oversaw the release of a 2004 EPA report that determined that hydraulic fracturing was safe for drinking water. Then he watched as Congress used those findings to bolster the case for passing a law that prohibited the EPA from regulating fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In two interviews with ProPublica -- the first on June 29, 2009, soon after he left the EPA, and the second on March 5, 2011 -- Grumbles ponders the criticism leveled at the 2004 study and suggests that it's now time for Congress and the EPA to take another look at hydraulic fracturing. Our questions, and his answers, have been combined and edited for length to the version you see here. Grumbles is currently on the board of the Clean Water America Alliance, a group focusing on water sustainability issues. He has also served as head of Arizona's Department of Environmental Quality.

Q: In the 2004 EPA study, which examined hydraulic fracturing in coalbed methane gas wells, a commission of experts concluded that the process "poses little or no threat" to underground sources of drinking water. That study has since been criticized. Where do you stand?

I saw that there were accusations, by Congressman (Henry) Waxman and Congresswoman (Diana) DeGette, that somehow politics were involved in that commission, or that it was too heavily slanted towards an industry perspective and that there were not enough environmental groups on that commission. There was also an employee in Denver who claimed whistle-blower status and felt that there was a greater risk to groundwater than was being acknowledged. Honestly, I never felt that the claims had much merit.

The career employees reviewing the report were quite comfortable with the integrity and product of that commissioned report. So, they recommended to me that hydraulic fracturing was not the type of threat that should be as high a priority as other types of threats to drinking water supplies. They took great offense to some of the other accusations that were made that the commission was biased in some way.

Q: You've said the study was never intended to be a "clean bill of health." Can you explain?

When we got the report, it was a snapshot in time. It was a thorough review describing the issues. Whether it's hydraulic fracturing or any other type of practice that can have an impact on the environment, one single report shouldn't be the basis for a perpetual, never-ending policy decision.

It wasn't meant to be a bill of health saying 'well, this practice is fine. Exempt it in all respects from any regulation.' I'm sure that wasn't the intent of the panel of experts, and EPA never viewed it that way. That's one reason why we were urging Congress to say 'look, if you are going to issue an exemption, ensure that it is not perpetual.'

Q: You're referring to the exemption passed by Congress as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which prohibited the regulation of fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act. What did you think about the idea of an exemption?

The career staff and I felt that when Congress provides a permanent exemption in an environmental statute, they need to be very careful about that and they need to have some built-in review process or safeguards so that if there is a risk presented, either the states or the EPA can then revisit it.

Q: Why, then, did you relinquish authority to both regulate the process and to revisit the issue?

I was disappointed, and I think others at EPA were disappointed, that the language [of the exemption] did not include the type of safety net language that I suggested.

It is not for one office and one agency to announce a position of the executive branch. And our view was, we had concerns about the scope of the language, we provided technical assistance and information, and ultimately Congress decided not to include the language that we had suggested. I was disappointed by that, but there is always tomorrow, and there is always the opportunity for additional facts to get Congress to revisit the exemption.

Q: So, were you overruled?

No, I felt that the commission's report [the 2004 EPA study] was an important piece that indicated that this was not presenting a significant threat to groundwater. I did feel as a matter of policy that the exemption was broader than it should have been at the time.

We certainly did not ask Congress to exempt hydraulic fracturing. We opposed the language, and we did provide information to executive committees.

Q: How did politics influence the EPA's oversight of this issue?

What came across clearly to the EPA was that the [Bush] administration did not want us to take a formal position of opposition to the exemption. It wasn't so much a pressure. It was just very clear, here is the situation: EPA officials or career staff are not to take a position of opposition or support for the legislation.

I'm not saying that there was political pressure in some sense of being told not to say certain things. This is the case in all high-profile legislative and congressional issues over my six years at EPA.

When it comes to working with Congress, the EPA is one important voice in where the executive branch is coming from, but it is not the only voice. So, as is always the case with any administration, there was coordination of the process with the Department of Energy, Office of Management and Budget, the White House. I know the office of the vice president [Dick Cheney] was involved, but I honestly did not see much involvement at all.

Q: How did you get the message that the EPA shouldn't take a formal position on the exemption?

They would say, 'continue to monitor this issue, work with congressional offices, explore the language, but don't take a formal position either for or against the language that was being developed in Chairman Barton's committee.' [Joe Barton, House Energy and Commerce Committee]

Q: Were you or the EPA ever instructed on what, specifically, to conclude in your research?

I never received any political pressure to do anything, or to take any particular view other than to not have an official position of opposition to the legislation that Chairman Barton and others were working on in the House and the Senate.

Q: The EPA's 2004 report did find that diesel fluid in fracturing presented a risk to groundwater. How was this addressed?

The former administrator [of water] Tracy Mehan recognized that under current law the agency was not regulating or prohibiting diesel fluids from being used in the hydraulic fracturing process, so he signed, on behalf of the EPA, an MOU [memo of understanding] with major companies that have a major stake in this, voluntarily getting them to commit not to use diesel fluids for the hydraulic fracturing process.

Based on current law and what tools we had, I felt this was a positive step. And it was a sincere step forward for us to make sure that we were engaged with the industry and engaged in the sense that they knew we were watching this and knew that it could be a problem if they used this sort of a process.

Q: And now we learn from some members of Congress that diesel use continued despite those efforts ...

It's disappointing, and the agency needs to follow up and ensure that the industry is providing accurate and timely information.

I think if the information is true that industry withheld information or misled regulators or the policy makers, then that is serious, and they need to provide all the relevant information they have.

Q: What does the situation say about the role of binding regulations vs. informal agreements?

A memo of understanding was the best way we had available at the time. Obviously, I think the right step is for Congress to look at the exemption carefully and require the industry to provide timely, accurate information so that Congress and the agency can revisit whether the exemption makes sense or not, or consider an exemption that is not as broad and has additional safeguards.

It's important to ensure that both sides of this story are told. It's not only 'what does the practice entail and what kind of fluids are being used,' but also to understand what role does it play in the nation's energy policy? The reality is there are energy companies and communities that are very supportive of hydraulic fracturing and the potential for natural gas in the country.

But from an environmental regulator standpoint, you have to make sure that all the facts are out on the table.

Q: What did the EPA want the legislative exemption language to say?

I didn't feel strongly that an exemption was necessary -- that any legislative language was needed. But if language was going to move through, it should have included some broader recapture provision that allowed for regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act if a problem developed -- that the exemption would not be applicable. That's easier said than written.

Oftentimes in environmental laws, when it comes to permitting certain activities, there will be a period of time when that activity may be permitted, but that direction is for a limited time and that, then, forces a revisiting of the issue. And that allows science to drive the results and to revisit whether an exemption is appropriate.

I don't know how the congressional committee ultimately debated that, but they arrived at a broad exemption where the only restriction on it was if diesel fluids were used in the process. I would have been more supportive of language that was more restrictive.

Q: How did the exemption change the EPA's oversight of hydraulic fracturing?

Once Congress enacted that exemption it signaled to the agency, 'well, we can do some review and monitoring of the situation, but we need to focus on some other priorities.'

Q: And what do you think of what has happened since that exemption was passed in 2005?

I'm not surprised at the discussions that have come up. Since then, there has been increasing data -- this being one of the big topics of the day when it comes to water and energy -- and there have been an increasing number of instances where communities and citizens have expressed concern. I think it is important to keep having that conversation as to whether an exemption makes sense, and also what additional science is needed to justify the continuation of the exemption.

Q: If the law had been written with the sort of safety net you wanted, would the recent news about water contamination have been enough to force the government to revisit the exemption issue?

Probably. From what I have seen and read about the past few years, while there is growing promise within the energy sector for natural gas and the hydraulic fracturing process, there is also a growing list of concerns. They weren't known to us at the time, within the agency and within Congress.

I'm not in a position to second-guess or revisit a law that is based on the data that we had at the time. We did not see this as a high-priority environmental risk. But we did know that this was a relatively new process and we had concerns that a particular exemption needs to be revisited when more is learned.

Clearly Congress should focus on this and ask whether it should continue in place as is, given the increasing amount of information and concern over the practice. I support EPA's effort to revisit the issue, to gather all of the facts and to do an even more comprehensive assessment.

Q: Should energy companies continue to be allowed to keep the names of the chemicals they use for fracturing secret?

I think this is one where it is important for the EPA and the Congress to ensure that the public has the relevant information as to what is happening in the hydraulic fracturing process.

I think communities' right to know is a valuable tool. There has always been a balance with confidential business information. But since we didn't have the legal authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, we had to rely on powers of persuasion and other tools to get the industry to commit to providing us information and also refrain from using diesel fuel.

Q: The conclusions of the 2004 EPA report don't appear to reflect the severity of the concerns voiced in earlier drafts and even deeper in the pages of the same final version. Did political pressures influence the editing process?

If there were changes that were made, it is news to me. I really never saw any evidence of that. What I saw was the final report, and that EPA staff felt that the report was a solid product and there was integrity to the process. The most important thing was that at the time EPA felt that the report was a valid work, and that it was indicating that there was not a risk to groundwater.

But that by itself doesn't justify a statutory exemption, particularly an exemption that isn't revisited.

Q: The 2004 EPA fracturing study was designed to be the first part of a three-phase process. But the first phase concluded that fracturing "does not justify additional study." Why?

I don't recall how it was resolved. There was never a sense that the chapter had ended. There was interest in our part in doing additional phases. Based on the conversations I remember having, further study and gathering information in the field would have been appropriate.

Q: Broadly speaking, what is the political environment that the EPA operates within?

Well, environmental laws can at times collide with energy policies and complicate energy policies. When the environmental statutes -- the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] -- are being discussed, other agencies have strong views and perspectives and want to support energy production and facilitate energy supply.

The environmental laws and programs don't always trump ... If the mood of the nation is to increase energy independence and energy supply, some of the environmental provisions can be viewed as constraints or barriers to that process. We've got to keep working on ways to get the two, environment and energy, to be on the same side.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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On the day of the Japan False Flag, from DailyKos...



It's Time for a Ban on Fracking!
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/11/955379/-Its-Time-for-a-Ban-on-Fracking!
by Food and Water Watch Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 04:31 PM EST

If you’re following the fracking debate closely, it’s been a rather busy few weeks chock full of media coverage. Today, Pro Publica published an interview with Benjamin Grumbles, former EPA assistant administrator for water during the Bush years, who suggests that Congress should revisit the exemption of fracking from the Clean Water Act. That’s big news considering the EPA initially declared that fracking did not pose a threat to our drinking water. It’s especially big news for those of us who support an outright ban on fracking, which we are calling for this week.

Fracking threatens our water — water we use for drinking, farming and bathing — and the speed with which the industry is developing drilling sites while federal and local governments slowly figure out what to do is disconcerting. The interview with Grumbles reveals much about the rocky road that has brought us to this point.


Here’s a snapshot of last week’s (Feb 27 – March 4) speed round on fracking:

● On February 27 The New York Times unveiled the first in a series of articles about fracking in the Marcellus Shale. This thorough investigative effort by Ian Urbina points out the complex relationship that exists between dangerous chemicals, water and government regulations that are meant to prevent the former from contaminating the latter. Even though natural gas companies tell us that they are doing everything they can to prevent it, fracking chemicals find a way to enter our water systems through wastewater and our treatment plants aren’t necessarily equipped to stop them or even empowered to test for them.

● On Tuesday, National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm followed up by interviewing a few special guests, all of whom are currently major voices in the natural gas debate. Regulation of hazardous materials was a key talking point, particularly because the natural gas industry — thanks to a few legislative loopholes — is exempt from many of the rules that would certainly go a long way in protecting our water systems from dangerous contaminants. Energy companies have been developing drilling sites across the Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey at an alarmingly fast pace. We shouldn’t rely on some members of the industry volunteering to tell us what chemicals they are pumping into the ground. This is a major point of contention, with many believing that regulations need to be put in place BEFORE fracking is allowed to continue and some – including Food and Water Watch - believing that no level of regulation would truly be enough to protect our natural resource from absorbing dangerous chemicals.

● Another Urbina piece was unveiled on Tuesday by The New York Times, this time focusing on fracking fluid disposal and various methods energy companies utilize to recycle it, including using it to de-ice roads in the winter. But what goes on the roads ends up in the sewers. Ultimately, there are many reasons to believe that we are not doing enough to prevent dangerous chemicals from getting into our wastewater treatment plants. And where does this water go from there? Back into our rivers and streams. In fact, Urbina cites evidence claiming:

“[A]t least 260 million gallons of wastewater were sent to plants that discharge their treated waste into rivers . . . .” Unfortunately, many of these treatments plants don’t have the technology needed to remove the chemicals and other waste from this water."

● Perhaps, the most interesting item in a rather busy week was Wednesday, when Scientific American analyzed the possibility that natural gas isn’t as beneficial as industry claims, and it’s certainly not a clean fuel — something easily overlooked due to the bells and whistles of advertising and promises of new jobs and local economic boosts:

“A 2007 lifecycle analysis of natural gas production, distribution and consumption found that when one factors in the total emissions associated with not only the end use of natural gas but also its extraction and distribution—much of it can leak when it is pulled out of the ground and then piped to power plants and other customers—it doesn’t seem so much cleaner than coal after all.”

So much for gas being a “clean” alternative fuel.

● Thursday, Bloomberg Businessweek pointed to the Obama administration’s hands-off approach to frank discussions about fracking and alarmingly refers to EPA’s too-little-too-late-effort to study fracking’s impact on drinking water, which may not be available until 2014. We should be able to expect our government to act faster than that on something this critical. Energy companies seem to have the advantage here since they are allowed to continue to drill for gas while studies are being conducted.

● The end of the week brought dismal news when Friday revealed what can happen when industry keeps us busy fighting to establish regulations, monitoring and testing, not to mention some semblance of order. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Bay Daily reported that 50,000 gallons of fracking water has been disposed in Baltimore’s Back River, while the Post Independent in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, reported that officials are investigating whether or not energy companies injected diesel fuel (1.3 million gallons) into the ground while drilling between 2005 and 2009.

The gas industry has been moving quickly to develop drilling sites for quite some time; The New York Times pointed out that they have already increased the number of active gas wells in Pennsylvania alone from roughly 35,000 to 71,000 since 2000. At the same time, industry is also looking to start new drilling in Maryland and Ohio. Much of this expansion occurs in regions that are surrounded by farms. Fracking’s potential to contaminate groundwater could have significant impact on agriculture and endanger consumers through the food we eat.

The industry is trying to quickly expand while consumers and state governments are slowly trying to determine how to regulate natural gas drilling and ensure environmental protections are solidly in place. But for many home owners its already too late. Their drinking water supplies are contaminated; their home values are destroyed. Even if regulations are eventually established and approved, they will more than likely not be enough to truly protect our water systems from the dangers of fracking.

We can’t afford to wait for more studies and more watered down regulations.  We need to ban fracking now.

State bans or moratoriums will not be enough. We need a federal ban to ensure that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t threaten drinking water anywhere in the United States. We can’t afford to permanently destroy our natural resources for a temporary solution to our energy woes. Join us in calling for a ban on gas drilling.

Protect your drinking water. Sign the petition for a national ban on fracking.

-Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Radiation-fracking link sparks swift reactions
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11064/1129908-113.stm
Saturday, March 05, 2011

By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Reports this week of high radiation levels in Marcellus Shale waste fracking fluids and weak regulation of the industry have turned on a spigot of action by federal and state officials.

U.S. Environmental Protection Administrator Lisa Jackson visited the agency's Region III office in Philadelphia Friday to ascertain the radiation issue will be addressed in an ongoing national study on the drinking water impacts of hydraulic fracturing, an industrial process used in shale gas development.

The EPA will seek data from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the drilling industry on radioactivity in the fracking fluid "flowback" water.

In a statement released following Ms. Jackson's meeting, the EPA said that while the national study progresses, it "will not hesitate to take any steps under the law to protect Americans whose health may be at risk," including enforcement actions to ensure that drinking water supplies are protected.

After a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and chemical additives are pumped deep underground under high pressure to crack the shale formation and release the gas it contains. As much as 20 percent of that fracking fluid waste returns to the surface with the gas and contains a variety of radioactive minerals from the shale.

The New York Times reported that hydraulic fracturing wastewater at 116 of 179 deep gas wells in the state contained high levels of radiation and its effect on public drinking water supplies is unknown because water suppliers are required to conduct tests of radiation only sporadically.

A number of public water suppliers, including the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Pennsylvania American Water Co. said this week that they would voluntarily test for radiation.

State Rep. Camille Bud George, D-Clearfield, announced he will introduce legislation calling for mandatory and independent radiation testing of all public water supplies that could potentially be affected by Marcellus Shale drilling wastewater discharges, and requiring the drilling and gas companies to pay for the testing.

State Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, renewed his call for a moratorium on drilling and said he will introduce legislation to toughen state Oil and Gas Act regulations on well siting around residences and streams, and impose a severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas production. Gov. Tom Corbett opposes such a tax.

"A moratorium is the most reasonable approach, especially in light of recent revelations about serious threats to our drinking water supply," Mr. Ferlo said. "This bill provides a framework for updating and improving regulations, as well as retaining the economic benefits of Marcellus Shale development."

In a statement issued Thursday, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, one of the most mainstream of the state's environmental organizations, called on Mr. Corbett to drop plans to open more of the state's forests and parks to Marcellus gas drilling.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11064/1129908-113.stm#ixzz1Ih1qKT00
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Remember wells almost dug in Collins?
Radiation in fracking fluid is a new concern

02:00 PM, MAR 03, 2011

Excerpt...

Public drinking water intakes do not often test for radiation levels, but the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will do so this year because of issues raised by the Times article, said Stanley States, authority water quality manager.

The DEP said it has added 78 well inspectors in the past 18 months to review operations at the 2,815 Marcellus wells drilled to date.

Last year, Preferred Fluids Management LLC of Austin, Texas applied for permits to create a pair of deep injection wells to dump drilling wastewater in Hartland Township, Ohio.

The project stirred controversy, prompting meetings and objections from area residents.

Then, in early April, the company withdrawn its request to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, citing a wetlands issue.

The fracking process in Hartland Township reportedly would have resulted in 10 railroad cars full of drilling wastewater daily.

=============================

So what kind of company is "Preferred Fluid Management, LLC"?
Damned if I know... there is little information out there about them...
not even a phone number.

Incorporated in March of 2011?

Fly by night fracking consultants? This is just wierd.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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People in the gulf have the same issues as PA - they get it from both sides:
Contaminated ground water and radiation from fracking, and corexit from the Gulf.

============

Prominent environment atty
targets fracking radiation injuring Gulf Peoples

http://gulfoildisasterrecovery.com/web/index.asp?mode=full&id=817
Deborah Dupre
Examiner.com
March 2nd, 2011

Environmental attorney Stuart Smith has noted today The NYT series launched Sunday (Feb. 27) detailing radioactive wastewater, another Halliburton-developed extraordinaire called “fracking,” dumping radiation with impunity across the country, is an issue he is taking on in relation to the Gulf Coast region, good news for Gulf coasters and anti-fracking leaders.

Smith's reputation being one of not tackling the big environmental-human rights abuses in any way but as winner is best news for Gulf Coast anti-fracking advocates who have worked hard to expose this dirty and dangerous energy secret.

Smith reported Wednesday:

The article even included a “smoking gun” document, a “confidential industry study” from 1990 by none other than the American Petroleum Institute. The API’s secret study concluded that even with conservative assumptions, the radium in drilling wastewater dumped off the Louisiana coast posed “potentially significant risks” of cancer for anyone eating fish from those areas.

"I’m working on my own series of posts about this hazard in the Gulf of Mexico," Smith reported, calling the waste the "800 pound oil and gas gorilla, RADIATION.

Just as Dr. Soto has said there is no safe level of toxins, Smith asserts, "The current scientific consensus postulates that there is no known safe level of exposure to radioactive materials."
Smith Stag attorneys say that their Louisiana radioactive material attorneys are pioneers in the field of TERM/NORM plaintiff litigation.

TERM, Technologically Enhanced Radioactive Material, is produced when activities such as uranium mining, oil and gas production or sewage sludge treatment, concentrate or expose naturally occurring radioactive materials in ores, soils, water, or other natural materials.

TENORM is defined by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences as: Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials are any naturally occurring radioactive materials not subject to regulation under the Atomic Energy Act whose radio nuclide concentrations or potential for human exposure have been increased above levels encountered in the natural state by human activities.

While federal and state agencies have tried to develop ways to protect humans and the environment from harmful exposure to the radiation in such materials, TERM remains a challenging problem in the United States. Because many industries and types of products potentially contribute to excess radiation production, including mineral extractions and refining, oil and gas production, drinking water treatment processes and wastewater treatment plants, scientists, researchers and legislators are struggling to find viable solutions.
"Our firm’s experience in handling radioactive by-product and other types of toxic tort cases range from class and mass actions brought about by communities affected by environmental hazards to individual plaintiff’s cases."
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Blast from the past...

February 11, 2009

Study: No Radiation Level Safe
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/29/health/main705127.shtml#ixzz1Ihk4cTU6

(AP)  The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer or other health problems and there is no threshold below which exposure can be viewed as harmless, a panel of prominent scientists concluded Wednesday.

The finding by the National Academy of Sciences panel is viewed as critical because it is likely to significantly influence what radiation levels government agencies will allow at abandoned nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons production facilities and elsewhere.

The nuclear industry, as well as some independent scientists, have argued that there is a threshold of very low level radiation where exposure is not harmful, or possibly even beneficial. They said current risk modeling may exaggerate the health impact.

The panel, after five years of study, rejected that claim.

"The scientific research base shows
that there is no threshold of exposure below which
low levels of ionized radiation
can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial,"

said Richard R. Monson, the panel chairman and a professor of epidemiology at Harvard's School of Public Health.

The committee gave support to the so-called "linear, no threshold" model that is currently the generally acceptable approach to radiation risk assessment. This approach assumes that the health risks from radiation exposure declines as the dose levels decline, but that each unit of radiation — no matter how small — still is assumed to cause cancer.

The panel, formally known as the Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiaton, or BEIR, generally supported previous cancer risk estimates — the last one by an earlier BEIR group in 1990.

Contrary to assertions that risks from exposure
from low-level radiation may have been overstated,
the panel said "the availability of new and more extensive data
have strengthened confidence in these (earlier) estimates."


The committee examined doses of radiation of up to 100 millisievert, a measurement of accumulated radiation to an individual over a year. By comparison, a single chest X-ray accounts for 0.1 millisievert and average background radiation 3 millisievert.

The committee estimated that 1 out of 100 people would likely develop solid cancer or leukemia from an exposure of 100 millisievert of radiation over a lifetime.



And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Kilika

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Is exposure to radiation cumulative? Considering all the radiation we are exposed to over time, surely that is having some effect on people.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:10 (KJB)

Offline agentbluescreen

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Is exposure to radiation cumulative? Considering all the radiation we are exposed to over time, surely that is having some effect on people.

'No safe levels' of radiation in Japan
Experts warn that any detectable level of radiation is "too much".

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/04/20114219250664111.html

Eating and X-Ray machine (unlike merely passing by one that flashes you for a second) that never turns off is totally destructive and deadly to you

Offline Brocke

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Re: Trace amounts of radiation all over America...FROM FRACKING!
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2011, 05:24:33 PM »
Cui Bono Japan Nuke False Flag?

Cui Bono all of the "Japan Radiation Hitting America" Insanity?


Well now we will never know since the U.S. is supposedly being inundated by Fukushima-Daichi radiation and any detected increase in radiation will be blamed on the frigging Jet Stream. Never mind the fact that it's the Trade Winds that would carry the cesium-134, cesium-137, iodine-131 and not the Jet Stream.

No other types of isotopes were found in the most recent data from air samples, even though EPA is also on the lookout for barium-140, cobalt-60, cesium-134, cesium-136, cesium-137, iodine-132, iodine-133, tellurium-129, and tellurium-132.[ref]

In older samples, isotopes of cesium and tellurium were found in Boise; Las Vegas; Nome and Dutch Harbor; Honolulu, Kauai and Oahu, Hawaii; Anaheim, Riverside, San Francisco, and San Bernardino, California; Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Guam, and Saipan on the Marina Islands.[ref]

The radiation from fracking and the fluoride cocktail of additives, strontium 90 et al, will be forgotten.

Alex was covering the drinking water radiation all last year now people will just say that it is from Fukushima-Daichi and that there is no evidence of local governments adding harmful radiation to the public water supplies.



Investigation Finds Radiation in Texas Drinking Water November 11, 2010
http://www.texasobserver.org/forrestforthetrees/investigation-finds-radiation-in-texas-drinking-water

EPA RadNet Air Filter and Air Cartridge Results - Last updated on April 6, 2011
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/rert/radnet-cart-filter-final.pdf


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Brocke

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Radioactive Cows And Methane Tap Water Spark Fracking Debate Amid Pennsylvania Gas Boom (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post
Posted: 04/15/11 04:48 PM ET

Flaming methane-filled tap water and radioactive cows? That may only be the tip of the iceberg.

"Fracking" has become a dirty word in the mouths of many residents who are experiencing hazardous and frightening ordeals like these, which they allege are directly related to the controversial natural gas drilling process hydraulic fracturing.

This video from Time takes a close look at residents in northeastern Pennsylvania, one of the many locales in America currently bustling due to the country's natural gas boom. The first-hand reports from people living near fracking sites are both tragic and cautionary.

But not everyone is upset with the craze. As local businesses grow exponentially from the gas boom, some residents are seeing nothing but prosperity. For those experiencing environmental and health consequences, however, there is no doubt in their minds that fracking isn't worth it, even if there remains no hard proof linking their plights to the drilling technique.

"It was heaven," Bonnie Burnett says of the home she had built with her husband in the Bradford County woods, where they planned to retire. But then in 2009, their pond and well water were seriously contaminated from a gas well spill. "It turned out to be hell."

read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/15/methane-water-radioactive-cows-fracking-pa_n_849893.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche