Materials on Radioactivity in Gas Drilling Waste

Four States Struggling to Manage Radioactive Fracking Waste, Jie Jenny Zou, Ohio Valley ReSource, EcoWatch, June 26, 2016

AG launches investigation into landfill case Ricki Barker, Richmond Register, Mar 18, 2016

Study says radon gas migrating off of West Lake landfill, Jacob Barker, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 30, 201.

Speak out against and send comments on Radioactive Drilling Waste in the Chemung County Landfill, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, November 30, 2015.

Western State Regulators Struggling to Keep up with Radioactive Fracking and Drilling Waste: New Report, Sharon Kelly, Desmog Blog, November 23, 2015.

No Time to Waste: Effective Management of Oil & Gas Field Radioactive Waste, Western Organization of Resource Councils.

Frack Foes Fear Release of Radium in Wayne National Forest, Casey Junkins, Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register, November 22, 2015

Radioactivity measured automatically in Swiss rivers,, Nov 17, 2015.

Radioactive Legacy, Part 5 of a Journal Special Report: The Past as Prologue; will lessons be learned? Rapid City Journal, November 01, 2015.

W.Va. Continues to Wrestle with Radioactive Drilling Waste, Glynis Board, W. Va. Public Broadcasting, September 17, 2015.

Fracking Creates Massive Radioactive Waste Problem, Sayer Ji, GreenMedInfo, September 1, 2015.

Landfill Disposal of WV Oil and Gas Waste  A Report Review, Bill Hughes, WV Community Liason, FracTracker, August 18, 2015.

The Facts about New York and Fracking Waste, Riverkeeper, 2015.

DEP’s testing methods for radiation in Ten Mile Creek questioned, Natasha Khan, Observer-Reporter, July 30, 2015

High Levels of Radium Found in PA Stream Near Drinking Water Supply, Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch, July 17, 2015.

Project would bring 400,000 tons of drilling waste to Pa.’s ‘Grand Canyon, Marie Cusick, StateImpact PA, July 13, 2015.

Has radioactivity risk from oil and gas activity been underrated? Reviewing a Pennsylvania TENORM Studym Juliana Henao, FracTracker, June 16, 2015.

DEP Announces $20,750 Settlement against Casella Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc., PA DEP Press Release, May 14, 2015.

Radiation in Greene County creeks: Pa. DEP gets an earful during the Chapter 78a Hearing in Washington, Pa, Video, YouTube, April 29, 2015.

In unanimous vote, Tompkins bans local use of fracking waste, Jeff Stein, Ithaca Voice, April 22, 2015.

Albany County to ban frack waste in landfill, Keith J. Ferrante, Legislative Gazette, April 20, 2015

Albany County legislature passes bill to ban dumping waste from fracking, Anne Hayden Harwood, Altamont Enterprise, April 16, 2015.

Albany County Bans the Dumping of Fracking Waste in Landfills, Press Release, Riverkeeper, April 15, 2015.

Rise of deadly radon gas in Pennsylvania buildings linked to fracking industry, Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, April 9, 2015.

Wasting Away: Four states' failure to manage oil and gas waste in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, Nadia Steinzor, Bruce Baizel, April 2, 2015.

Abinanti Pushes Bill to Ban Fracking Waste on Highways, Doug Rosenthal, Scarsdale Patch, March 13, 2015.

Fracking waste must be dealt with responsibly, Editorial Board, Poughkeepsie Journal, February 18, 2015.

Panel: Radioactive fracking waste-dumping is safe, Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, February 14, 2015.

New York Banned Fracking, But 460,000 Tons of Fracking Waste Have Been Dumped There, Emily Atkin, Climate Progress, February 6, 2015.

N.Y. landfills taking tons of Pa. drilling waste, Jon Campbell, Ithaca Journal, February 5, 2015.

North Dakota: oil producers aim to cut radioactive waste bills, Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, January 28, 2015.

License to Dump:  Despite Ban New York Permits Pennsylvania to Dump Radioactive Fracking Waste Inside Our Borders, Environmental Advocates, February 2015.

Pennsylvania DEP Dreams of Radioactive Sheep, Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way, January 26, 2015.

Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM) Study Report, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, January 2015. 

Nassau passes ban on waste products from fracking, Jennifer Barrios, Newsday, October 31, 2014.

Landfill drops request for tenfold radiation increase, Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, October 24, 2014. "Michigan Gov. Snyder has convened a panel looking at regulations on disposing of technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials."

No public representative on Michigan radioactive frack waste TENORM panel, Ban Michigan Fracking, October 21, 2014.

Radioactive frack sludge moved from Pennsylvania to who knows where, LuAnne Kozma, Ban Michigan Fracking, October 21, 2014.

Chemung County Worries About Fracking Waste WENY TV, October 15, 2014.

3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater has been injected illegally into California Aquifers, Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos, Oct 10, 2014.

EQT, DEP take their cases to court over 2012 flowback leak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 7, 2014.

Study: Treated fracking wastewater could still threaten drinking water, Susan Phillips, State Impact, NPR, September 26, 2014.

Shale drillers’ landfill records don’t match those of Pennsylvania DEP, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 31, 2014.

Ontario County EQC to hear about radioactive waste at landfill, David L. Shaw, Finger Lakes Times, September 3, 2014.

Hawkins: Why I Will Ban Gas Drilling Waste in New York's Landfills, David Doonan,, August 28, 2014.

Michigan landfill operator suspends receipt of low-level radioactive waste, Detroit Free Press, August 25, 2014.

Frackers are sending sludge to the Mitten State, Heather Smith, Grist, August 19, 2014.

Michigan landfill taking other states' radioactive fracking waste, Detroit Free Press, August 19, 2014.

Concerns Over Radioactive Waste Going Into WV Landfills, Public News Service - WV, August 2014.

Oil drilling in North Dakota raises concerns about radioactive waste, Neela Banerjee, LA Times, July 26, 2014.

13 Counties Have Banned Frack Filth in New York, Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way, July 25, 2014

Clinton County Passes Fracking Waste Ban, Pat Bradley, WAMC, July 24, 2014.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network wins appeal of PADEP’s refusal to disclose radiation study files, Press Release, July 16, 2014.

Ohioans Wary Of Uses For ‘Recycled’ Radioactive Fracking Waste, Addicting Info, July 13, 2014.

Here's another complication for fracking — radioactive waste, Living on Earth, July 9, 2014.

Letter from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Materials Management, Region 8 to Casella Waste Systems regarding Chemung County Landfill, Radiation Monitors and Leachate Testing, June 23, 2014.

In Leftover Marcellus Rocks, a Threat to Water Supplies: Radiation, Matt Richmond, Allegany Front, June 19, 2014.

Voice: Radioactive drilling waste poses a serious threat, David Kowalski, Buffalo News, May 29, 2014. David Kowalski, Ph.D., is a retired cancer researcher and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Two more drilling sites found with Marcellus Shale sludge radioactivity in Washington County; DEP sees no threat, Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 27, 2014.

Northeast States Rush To Keep Fracking Wastewater Out, Joanna M. Foster, Climate Progress, May 20, 2014.

Papers presented at conference on NORM and TENORM: Occurrence, Characterizing, Handling and Disposal, Ohio State University, May 12, 2014.

Testimony of Attorney Gary Abraham before the NYS Senate Democratic Conference Public Forum on the health and environmental risks posed by hydraulic fracturing by-products and the acceptance thereof by New York State publicly owned treatment works and landfills, Albany, NY. May 13, 2014.

Testimony of Roger Downs, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter before the State Senate Democratic Conference on the health and environmental risks posed by hydraulic fracturing by-products and the acceptance thereof by New York State publicly owned treatment works and landfills, Albany, NY, May 13, 2014.

Testimony of Walter L. T. Hang before the State Senate Democratic Conference Forum Regarding Natural Gas and Oil Extraction Wastewater Concerns In New York, Albany, NY, May 13, 2014.

Fracking Produces More Radioactive Waste than Nuclear Power Plants by Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way, May 4, 2014.

How Fracking Is Exposing People to Radioactive Waste, Tara Lohan, AlterNet, May 2, 2014.

Fracking issues raised by Auburn wastewater report, Dave Tobin,, April 23, 2014.

Letter to Governor Cuomo Requesting Immediate Action Due to Auburn Headworks Analysis of Natural Gas Drilling Wastewater Hazards, Walter Hang, April 22, 2014.

Landfill Wastewater Showing Elevated Radioactivity, Environmental Leader, April 22, 2014. "Radioactivity is showing up in wastewater from gas field landfills in West Virginia that serve as disposal sites for Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling cuttings."

Marcellus Waste Radioactivity In Water Leaching From Landfills, Public News Service - WV,
April 21, 2014 "Tons of drill cuttings from Marcellus natural gas wells are going to municipal landfills in West Virginia, and radioactivity from the waste is leaching into surface water."

Radioactive Waste Booms With Fracking as New Rules Mulled, Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg News, April 16, 2014.

Proposed Chemung County landfill expansion draws questions, Elmira Star-Gazette, April 12, 2014.

DEP: Drillers extract thousands of tons of ‘hot’ rocks in Pa., John Finnerty, Tribune-Democrat, March 29, 2014.

Co-precipitation of Radium with Barium and Strontium Sulfate and Its Impact on the Fate of Radium during Treatment of Produced Water from Unconventional Gas Extraction, Tieyuan Zhang, Kelvin Gregory, Richard W. Hammack, and Radisav D. Vidic, Environ. Sci. Technol., March 26, 2014.

Tell Chemung County to Look at the Dangers of Radioactive Gas Drilling Waste, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Action Alert.

As Snow Melts, Movement Builds to Ban Use of Drilling Waste on NYS Roads, Sarah Crean, New York Environment Report, March 6, 2014.

Nuclear Frack Dump Planned for New York, Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way Blog, February 7, 2014.

Chemung County residents speak out against landfill expansion plan, Derrick Ek, Corning Leader, Jan. 30, 2014. "Many objected to the large amounts of drill cuttings from Marcellus Shale gas well sites in Pennsylvania being accepted by the landfill, saying it contained radioactive materials from deep underground."

Public hearing set on Chemung County landfill expansion plan, Derrick Ek, Corning Leader, Jan. 28, 2014.

Ohio EPA, health officials dismiss radioactive threat from fracking: Other states studying health risks in waste, Spencer Hunt, The Columbus Dispatch, Monday January 27, 2014

Radioactive Waste Dumped by Oil Companies Is Seeping out of the Ground in North Dakota, Aaron Cantu, Alternet, January 24, 2014

Effluent discharged from treatment plants contained Radium 226 levels in stream sediments (544–8759 Bq/kg) at the point of discharge were 200 times greater than upstream and background sediments (22–44 Bq/kg) and above radioactive waste disposal threshold regulations, posing potential environmental risks of radium bioaccumulation in localized areas of shale gas wastewater disposal.

Radioactive oil patch waste on the loose in N.D., Lauren Donovan, Bismarck Tribune, January 19, 2014.

“Everything we’ve tested in the Bakken, it all exceeds 5 pCi per gram, virtually every sample,” he said. The number is the state’s minimum threshold for radioactivity and stands for Picocuries, a unit of measurement for elements like radium and uranium.

Typically, filter socks’ radioactive levels range from 5 to 80, though one tested at 374. Tests on tank bottoms and retention ponds at oil wells routinely run significantly higher numbers, around 200 pCi, Rhea said. Kurt Rhea is chief executive officer for Next Generation Solutions, a Colorado company that collects some radioactive waste in the Bakken and transports it to approved disposal sites in other states.

Chemung County Legislature sets public hearing on landfill expansion, Warren Howeler, Morning Times, January 15, 2014

75 Tons Per Day Of Radioactive Oil Waste Unregulated in North Dakota, Amy Dalrymple, Grand Forks Herald, reprinted in Popular Resistance, November 24, 2013:

North Dakota’s oil industry generates 75 tons of low-level radioactive waste per day and the state has few rules on how to handle it, but does say it can’t be dumped in landfills. But the waste does show up illegally in North Dakota landfills as some companies try to avoid the expense and time it takes to properly transport the waste out of state. Filter socks, which are used in saltwater disposal wells to filter out the solids, contain NORM and have been discovered illegally in municipal landfills and ditches. There are estimates that the state’s saltwater disposal wells need to dispose of between 19 million and 169 million filter socks each year.

Excellent Video Presentation on the Science of Radioactivity in Shale, Julie Weatherington-Rice, PhD Soil Science, November 12, 2013.

Erie County Joins Growing Number of New York Counties Banning Fracking Waste, Daniel Raichel, NRDC Switchboard, January 10, 2014.

Duke Study: Fracking Is Leaving Radioactive Pollution In Pennsylvania Rivers, Harrison Jacobs, Business Insider, Oct. 9, 2013.

Radioactive Water From Fracking Found in Pennsylvania Creek According to Duke Study, Laura Beans, EcoWatch, October 4, 2013.

Radioactive Water Streaming Out of Pennsylvania Fracking Waste Site, Jacob Chamberlain, Common Dreams, October 2, 2013.

Fracking linked to radioactive river water in Pa, Wendy Koch, USA Today,  October 2, 2013.

Fracking Study: Gas Production In Pennsylvania May Be Polluting Creek With Radioactive Waste, Bobby Magill, Huffington Post, October 2, 2013.

Radioactivity levels were found to be elevated in sediment near the outflow from the plant, and they were high enough that only a licensed radioactive disposal facility is qualified to accept them, said co-author Robert B. Jackson, Duke professor of environmental science. Radioactivity has accumulated in the river sediments and exceeds thresholds for safe disposal of radioactive waste, he said.

Radioactivity found in the creek downstream of the fracking wastewater treatment plant is in low concentrations initially, but the study’s results show what happens when a large amount of fracking wastewater is treated in one location for a long period of time, said Jackson, whose previous research showed “systematic evidence” of methane contamination in drinking water associated with natural gas extraction in the Marcellus.

“Each day, oil and gas producers generate 2 billion gallons of wastewater,” Jackson said Tuesday. “They produce more wastewater than hydrocarbons. That’s the broader implication of this study. We have to do something with this wastewater.

“The use of fossil fuels has a direct climate connection,” he said. “Hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater is a consequence of our reliance — our addiction — to fossil fuels. That’s another price we pay for needing so much oil and gas.

Radiation in Pennsylvania Creek Seen as Legacy of Fracking, Jim Efstathiou Jr., BusinessWeek, October 2, 2013:

While earlier studies have identified radiation in drilling wastewater, today’s report is the first to examine the long-term environmental impacts of dumping it in rivers. . . . Sediment in Blacklick Creek contained radium in concentrations 200 times above normal, or background levels, according to the [Duke] study, . . . The radium, along with salts such as bromide, came from the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh, a plant that treats wastewater from oil and gas drilling. “The absolute levels that we found are much higher than what you allow in the U.S. for any place to dump radioactive material,” Avner Vengosh, a professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and co-author of the study, said in an interview. “The radium will be bio-accumulating. You eventually could get it in the fish.” . . . . [The Duke] report exposes the risks of disposing of the surging volumes of waste from gas fracking.

Radioactive Wastewater From Fracking Is Found in a Pennsylvania Stream: New testing shows that high levels of radium are being released into the watershed that supplies Pittsburgh's drinking water, Joseph Stromberg,, October 2, 2013.

Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania, Nathaniel R. Warner , Cidney A. Christie , Robert B. Jackson , and Avner Vengosh, Duke University, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (20), pp 11849–11857, DOI: 10.1021/ es402165b, October 2, 2013

Local Landfill Accepting Fracking Waste In Clear Violation of City Ordinance, Peter Mantius, Niagara Falls Reporter, Aug. 27, 2013.

New York Imports Pennsylvania's Radioactive Fracking Waste Despite Falsified Water Tests, Peter Mantius, DC Bureau, Aug. 14, 2013.

Victory in Fracking Wastewater Fight in PA, Earthjustice, Eco Watch, Aug. 7, 2013.

Marcellus Watch: The DEC plays ostrich on radioactive waste, Peter Mantius, Steuben Courier-Advocate, Aug. 2, 2013.

Advocates push to limit use of wastewater created by hydrofracking, Jamie D. Gilkey, The Troy Record, July 24, 2013.

Materials on two pending applications to increase intake at the Hyland Landfill in Town of Angelica, Allegany Couny, NY. The Hyland municipal solid waste landfill has been taking Marcellus Shale drill cuttings from Pennsylvania for several years. Comments were due July 21, 2013.

Tell the DEC to Ban Radioactive Gas Drilling Waste, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Action Alert, July 2013.

Illustration by Marika Burke.

Another Pennsylvania Wastewater Treatment Plant Accused of Illegally Disposing Radioactive Fracking Waste, Sharon Kelly, DeSmogBlog, July 18, 2013.

East Syracuse lab admits falsifying water, soil tests through backdating, John O'Brien,, July 17, 2013.

Ohio Fights Back After Becoming the Nation’s Fracking Waste Dump, Trisha Marczak, Mint Press News, Eco Watch, July 15, 2013.

Orphaned Radioactive Frack Waste, Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way, July 9, 2013.

Rejected radioactive waste remains in Greene, Tara Kinsell, Observer_Reporter, July 9, 2013.

Hot Rocks – Radioactive Shale Drill Cuttings, Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way, July 4, 2013.

Ohio wells disposing of more fracking waste, Associated Press, Newark Advocate, July 2, 2013.

Land Application of Drilling Fluids: Landowner Considerations, Mark L. McFarland, Professor and Extension State Water Quality Specialist, Sam E. Feagley, Professor and Extension State Environmental Specialist, Tony L. Provin, Associate Professor and Extension Laboratory Director, Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Review Reveals Radiation Risk Models Underestimate Harms of Exposure by 10,000 Fold, GreenMedInfo, June 20, 2013.

Report: Radioactive waste from fracking plagues Ohio, Rachel Morgan, Calkins Media, Elwood City Ledger, June 14, 2013.

"Oil and gas companies, along with the state agencies they’ve bamboozled, would have you believe any radioactivity present in waste streams is either within regulatory limits, not within the jurisdiction of state governments to regulate, or non-existent," said Marvin Resnikoff, the author of the report. "Translation 1: The radium-226 in Marcellus shale inexplicably disappears when it is brought to the surface," he continued. "Translation 2: The oil and gas industry does not want to pay the true costs of transporting, managing or disposing the radioactive waste they are producing.”

Hydraulic Fracturing: Radiological Concerns for Ohio. Fact Sheet Prepared for FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio by Melissa Belcher, M.S. and Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D., June 13, 2013.

Aspects of DNA Damage from Internal Radionuclides, Chris Busby, Chap. 22 in New Research Directions in DNA Repair, edited by Clark Chen, InTech, May 2013.

Rockland County Bans Radioactive Fracking Waste, Grassroots Environmental Education,, June 5, 2013

Radioactive Waste From the Marcellus Shale Continues to Draw Concern, Sharon Kelly,, June 3, 2013.

Exxon Trucking Toxic Radioactive Frack Waste to a Town Near You, Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way, May 24, 2013.

Proposed Act for the Protection of Public Health from Exposure to Radon in Natural Gas, New York Assembly Bill No. A6863, same as New York Senate Bill No.S4921. ASSEMBLY SPONSOR Rosenthal, COSPNSR Maisel, Abinanti, Gabryszak, Miller, Gottfried, Roberts, Quart, MLTSPNSR Brennan, Colton, Cook, Glick, Lifton, Rivera, Robinson, Sepulveda. SENATE SPONSOR Savino, COSPNSR Addabbo, Avella, Carlucci, Hoylman, Latimer, Serrano.

Spectra pipeline radon fear starting to catch fire, Eileen Stukane, The Villager, May 23, 2013.

Does Pennsylvania’s Shale Gas Have Too Much Radon In It?, Marie Cusick, StateImpact Pennsylvania, May 15, 2013.

Radioactive Drilling Waste Sparks Concern, Marie Cusick, StateImpact Pennsylvania, May 14, 2013.

Radioactive fracking debris triggers worries at dump sites, Timothy Puko, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 11, 2013.

Radioactive waste on the N.D. monitor: Energy Industry Waste Coalition worried about improper disposal of oilfield material: Landfill employees here discovered at least two “hot loads” this week, illustrating why a group of North Dakota citizens is worried about the proper disposal of radioactive waste that comes with oil production, Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, The Jamestown Sun, May 18, 2013.

Proposed act prohibiting the acceptance of wastewater from oil or natural gas extraction activities at wastewater treatment facilities and landfills, New York Senate Bill No. S5412, same as New York Assembly Bill No. A7497. SENATE SPONSOR Gipson, ASSEMBLY SPONSOR Buchwald.

Proposed act prohibiting the transportation or shipment of any waste product or byproduct from hydraulic fracturing operations, New York Senate Bill No. S5123A, same as New York Assembly Bill No. A7503-2013. SENATE SPONSOR Tkaczyk, COSPNSR Hoylman, Krueger, ASSEMBLY SPONSOR : O'Donnell, COSPNSR Lifton.

Tkaczyk Proposes Ban on Hazardous Fracking Waste Being Shipped into New York State, Jim Plastiras, NYS Senate Press Release, May 15, 2013.

Tkaczyk bill would ban the import and treatment of fracking fluid, Jess String, Legislative Gazette, May 15, 2013

How frack waste will travel, The Chronicle, Chester and Goshen NY, May 15, 2013, showing XTO Energy's cuttings disposal plan:

Will Ohio’s Landfills Become a Dumping Ground for Radioactive Fracking Waste?, Ohio Environmental Council, EcoWatch, May 14, 2013.

Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale: Pennsylvania DEP Takes Notice, Marvin Resnikoff, RWMA Newsletter, April 26, 2013.

Fracking Truck Sets Off Radiation Alarm At Landfill, Jeff McMahon, Forbes, April 24, 2013.

Shale truck sets off alarm in South Huntingdon, Paul Peirce, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 23, 2013. "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."

Oil & Gas Development Radiation Study, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Study announced Jan. 24, 2013. On April 3, 2013, DEP released additional details of the study:

DEP Unveils More Details About Marcellus Radiation Study, Marie Cusick, StateImpact Pennsylvania, April 3, 2013.

DEP begins fracking radiation tests, Rachel Morgan,, Beaver, PA, Apr. 3, 2013.

Marcellus Shale & TENORM, David J. Allard, CHP, Director, PA DEP, Bureau of Radiation Protection,
Presentation at PEMA EM Conference, September 24, 2011.

Ban on Radioactive Fracking Waste Passed by Putnam County, NY Legislators,,
March 7, 2013.

Brine Wastewater Leak Investigated, Casey Junkins, Wheeling News-Register, February 28, 2013.

Officials want to know how 2,264 barrels of brine wastewater leaked from a storage pit into a local tributary of Big Wheeling Creek in Marshall County, WV. The storage pit, containing both fresh water and brine wastewater, which is produced during the fracking process, overflowed because of an open valve. Despite the insistence of the West Virginia DEP that the spill did not create a major problem, some materials in brine water can be radioactive, such as radium and uranium. A 2011 study by the U.S. Geological Survey examined 52 samples of Marcellus Shale wastewater collected from wells in New York and Pennsylvania. Some of the samples showed readings for radium at least 242 times higher than the amount allowed for drinking water - and at least 20 times higher than the industrial standard. [See Radium Content of Oil- and Gas-Field Produced Waters in the Northern Appalachian Basin (USA), U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5135, E.L. Rowan, M.A. Engle, C.S. Kirby, and T.F. Kraemer.]

How radioactive is oil and gas waste? New study, Amy Mall’s Blog, Natural Resources Defense Council, Feb. 27, 2013.

A new paper published in NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, discusses an analysis of radioactive waste sludgetwo pit sites related to drilling and fracking of Barnett Shale wells. Both sites are in the midst of agricultural land. One site was a former pit which had been drained and leveled to the surrounding elevation and the second is a pit that, at the time of sampling, held drilling mud, water for hydraulic fracturing, processed water and/or drill cuttings.

The analysis confirmed the presence of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation in the soil and water that was tested. The gamma-emitting radionuclides identified exceeded regulatory guideline values by more than 800 percent. According to the paper's authors, the active pit was overflowing into a neighboring stream.

The authors also report that agricultural land adjacent to the drained reserve pit may have an increased potential for radioactive material taken up in livestock feed crops growing on the land due to wind transport, runoff, and migration of soil onto adjacent land.

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 Alisa L. Rich and Ernest C. Crosby, NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy.

Ohio seeks radioactivity testing on drilling wastes, by Spencer Hunt, The Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 13, 2013.

Ohio should be exceedingly careful about allowing landfills to take fracking waste: editorial, Editorial Board, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Feb. 4, 2013.

DEP backtracks on radiation issue, Rachel Morgan,, Beaver, PA, Jan. 25, 2013.

HARRISBURG -- For months, the state Department of Environmental Protection denied that radiation in wastewater from natural gas drilling was an issue. On Thursday night, the state announced plans to study the effects of radiation in natural gas drilling wastewater.

Fracking wastewater can be highly radioactive, Rachel Morgan,, Beaver, PA, Jan. 24, 2013.

DEP Announces Comprehensive Oil and Gas Development Radiation Study, Pennsylvania DEP News Release, Jan. 24, 2013

On a Wyoming Ranch, Feds Sacrifice Tomorrow’s Water to Mine Uranium Today, by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, Dec. 26, 2012, Graphic: Uranium Mining at a Wyoming Ranch, ProPublica, Dec. 26, 2012.

Westchester County Legislators Praised For Unanimously Voting to Ban Radioactive Fracking Waste,, Dec. 11, 2012.

Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Industry Pollute the Nation’s Underground Water Supply, by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, Dec. 11, 2012

Where Fracksylvania Dumps Its Waste, by Chip Northrup, Shaleshock Blog, Nov. 21, 2012.

Karen Edelstein prepared this map from PA DEP data showing where Pennsylvania drilling waste goes in New York. Much of the waste is going to the Hyland landfill in Angelica (blue) and the Hakes landfill in Painted Post (purple). Both landfills are sending their leachate to the Steuben landfill leachate pre-treatment plant which dischanges into the Village of Bath wastewater treatment plant.

Close up of Fractracker map, updated with Jan.-June 2013 PA DEP data

Marcellus Watch: A river of waste, by Peter Mantius, The Corning Leader, Nov. 5, 2012

Fracking and a Radioactive Silvery-White Monster: Radium Must be Left in the Earth, by Karl Grossman, Common Dreams, Nov. 9, 2012

Consideration of Radiation in Hazardous Waste Produced from Horizontal Hydrofracking, Report of E. Ivan White, Staff Scientist for the National Council on Radiation Protection, Oct. 2012

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth, by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, Sept. 26, 2012

Radium 226 in Gas Drilling Waste: This Substance May Harm You, by Iris Marie Bloom, Protecting Our Waters Blog, Sept. 14, 2012

Drilling opponents irked over decision to accept debris at county landfill, Mary Perham, Steuben Courier Advocate, Sept. 4, 2012

Fracking brine, Gas-well waste full of radium: Study suggests water trucked to Ohio from Pa. might be radioactive, by Spencer Hunt, The Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 3, 2012

For its study, the Geological Survey examined 52 samples of Marcellus shale brine collected from wells in New York and Pennsylvania from 2009 through 2011. In 37 of the samples, radioactivity from radium-226 and radium-228 was at least 242 times higher than the drinking-water standard and at least 20 times higher than the industrial standard. That included a sample collected Dec. 21, 2009, in Tioga County, Pa., that was 3,609 times higher than the drinking water standard and 300 times higher than the industrial.

Radium Content of Oil- and Gas-Field Produced Waters in the Northern Appalachian Basin (USA), U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5135 By E.L. Rowan, M.A. Engle, C.S. Kirby, and T.F. Kraemer.

Steuben Legislature: Drilling opponents speak out about landfill use (PDF), Mary Perham, Corning Leader, Aug. 28, 2012, page A3. "County Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti said the landfill has not yet brought in cuttings and does not expect to any time soon." My talking points handed to the legislators at the meeting along with copies of the Radiological Data on Production Brine from NYS Marcellus Wells contained in Appendix 13 of the revised DSGEIS.

More evidence of the risks posed by fracking wastewater in the Marcellus region, Kate Sindig's Blog, NRDC Switchboard, Aug. 23, 2012

"The disposal of contaminated wastewater generated from fracking in the Marcellus Shale region presents a significant risk to rivers and other bodies of water, finds a recent study carried out by Stony Brook University and published in this month’s issue of Risk Analysis. Of the several potential water pollution pathways from fracking that were examined, salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials contained in fracking fluids posed the greatest threat because many treatment facilities are not equipped to handle them. . .

"The problem of fracking waste, which is exempt from federal and state rules for hazardous waste, is a particularly grave issue for the Marcellus region including New York and Pennsylvania. Due to the unique geology of the region, underground injection—the preferred disposal method throughout most of the country—is not currently considered a viable option. As a result, much of the liquid byproduct has been treated at facilities that then discharge into bodies of water that supply public drinking water.

"This most recent study further confirms that we are not presently adequately prepared to manage contaminated wastewater should fracking be permitted to proceed in New York. Ensuring that public health and the environment can be protected must be our top priorities before moving forward with further fracking in the Marcellus Shale."

The Steuben County Landfill will accept cuttings from Marcellus Shale drillings, Mary Perham, Hornell Evening Tribune, Aug. 7, 2012

Click on the following links for the radiation testing protocols for the Steuben County landfill in Bath handed out at the Steuben County Public Works Committee meeting Monday, Aug. 6, 2012: Procedures for Acceptance of Drill Cuttings and Radiation Monitoring and Additional Considerations for Radionuclide Sampling.

At the PWC meeting on Aug. 6, 2012, it was stated that the Bath landfill leachate treatment plant is designed to be a regional leachate treatment plant. The plant is currently taking leachate from a number of surrounding landfills, including the Anjelica landfill in Allegany County and the Hakes landfill and this role is scheduled to expand. Both the Anjelica landfill and the Hakes landfill have been taking Marcellus drill cuttings for some time. We understand that after treatment in the Bath landfill leachate treatment plant, the leachate is piped to the Village of Bath sewage treatment plant. The Bath sewage treatment plant releases into the Cohocton River. Click here for an index of materials on the Bath sewage treatment plant.

The minutes of the May 1, 2012, joint meeting of the Municipal Utility Commission of the Village of Bath and the Village of Bath Board of Trustees state that, "The MUC also addressed Steuben County Department of Public Works request to modify their SIU agreement to include leachate from Casella Waste Systems Hyland Landfill in Angelica, the Bath Transfer Station, and Casella Ontario County Landfill. The County has determined the leachate from these facilities are compatible with their pre-treatment process and will not change the daily flows established in the Industrial User Permit. Motion by Commissioner Sweet and seconded by Commissioner Bonicave to approve this modification request. Passed unanimously."

TENORM Associated with Shale Gas Operations, ASTSWMO Information Sheet, Radiation Focus Group, July 2012.

Radon-222 Content of Natural Gas Samples from Upper and Middle Devonian Sandstone and Shale Reservoirs in Pennsylvania: Preliminary Data, E.L. Rowan and T.F. Kraemer, USGS Open-File Report 2012–1159, July 2012.

In April 2012 the DEC granted a permit modification to the Hakes C&D landfill in Painted Post. The modification includes authorization of a solidification process for C&D wastes which contains liquids. Special conditions add radiation testing requirements for the first time, and for the first time specifically authorize the acceptance of wastes generated during drilling and/or development of natural gas wells targeting the Marcellus shale, and/or wastes generated from the production of natural gas from any wells completed in the Marcellus Shale. Click here for an index of materials on the Hakes landfill.

In the Matter of Chemung County Landfill, DEC permit proceeding. Decision of DEC Commissioner issued August 4, 2011. "Department staff is directed to review whether additional or revised permit conditions, or revisions to the landfill's operating procedures, are necessary with respect to the questions relating to the radiation monitoring/detection system, landfill leachate management, and restrictions on disposal of drill cuttings in the onsite construction and demolition debris landfill, as set forth in this decision." Staff response dated Oct. 11, 2011.

Should We Hide Low-Dose Radiation Exposures From The Public?, Jeff McMahon, Forbes, May 29, 2012

NY's Fracking Wastewater: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Katherine Nadeau, Water & Natural Resources Program Director, Environmental Advocates, May 11, 2012

The Low-Level Radiation Puzzle, Matthew L. Wald, New York Times Green Blog, May 2, 2012

Low-Level Radiation Risks, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2012

Special issue on the risks of exposure to low-level radiation, by Jan Beyea, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: pp. 10-12, doi:10.1177/0096340212445026
The scientific jigsaw puzzle: Fitting the pieces of the low-level radiation debate, by Jan Beyea, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: pp. 13-28, doi:10.1177/0096340212445025
Lessons from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The most exposed and most vulnerable, David Richardson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: pp. 29-35, doi:10.1177/0096340212444876
Principles in practice: Radiation regulation and the NRC, by Terry A. Brock and Sami S. Sherbini, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: pp. 36-43, doi:10.1177/0096340212444869
Unmasking the truth: The science and policy of low-dose ionizing radiation, by Gordon Thompson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: pp. 44-50, doi:10.1177/0096340212444872
The low-dose phenomenon: How bystander effects, genomic instability, and adaptive responses could transform cancer-risk models, by Colin K. Hill, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: pp. 51-58, doi:10.1177/0096340212444874
The social amplification of risk and low-level radiation, by Roger E. Kasperson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: 59-66, doi:10.1177/0096340212444871
The perception gap: Radiation and risk, by Paul Slovic, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: 67-75, doi:10.1177/0096340212444870
Underestimating effects: Why causation probabilities need to be replaced in regulation, policy, and the law, by Sander Greenland, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 2012 68: 76-83, doi:10.1177/0096340212444873

Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2, Committee to Assess Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, National Research Council, 2006

Radiation Toxicity: The Petkau Effect, see, Petkau_effect,

Radon in Homes and Natural Gas, Charles J. Barton, Sr., 2008

Radon in Natural Gas from Marcellus Shale, by Marvin Resnikoff, Radioactive Waste Management Associates, January 10, 2012

Video of Public Hearing, Senate Standing Committee on Energy Conservation. Sponsored by NYS Senators Mark Grisanti and Patrick Gallivan to examine waste water produced by hydraulic fracturing. The Inn on the Lake, Canandaigua, NY. Videography by Cris McConkey, Shaleshock Media, December 12, 2011.

Natural Gas from Hydrofracking in Marcellus Shale May result in High levels of Radon Gas and Lead in Homes, Oneida County Courier, Oct. 9, 2011

Radioactivity in the Marcellus Shale, Dr. Marvin Resnikoff, Forum at Binghamton University, Nov. 16, 2011

Professor Says DEC Regulations on Shale Radiation Lacking, Fox40, WICZ Binghamton, Nov. 16, 2011

Comments on DSGEIS on Marcellus Shale Development, Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D., Radioactive Waste Management Associates, September 2011

Fracking Radiation Targeted By DOE, GE, Jeff McMahon, Forbes, Aug. 3, 2011.

Throop Borough Council seeks ban on Marcellus waste as landfill cover, Citizens Voice, Luzerne County, PA, July 1, 2011

Marcellus Shale-Gas Development and Water-Resource Issues, John Williams, USGS, presentation, June 2011.

More than 200 Show Up for Forum on Drill Cuttings, The Corning Leader, June 14, 2011; WENY video clips of the Drilling Cuttings Forum in Bath, June 13, 2011

New York State Dismisses Radiation Threat From Gas Drilling Cuttings, Peter Mantius,, May 10, 2011

Radiation in fracking fluid is a new concern, Don Hopey and Daniel Malloy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 1, 2011.

Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers, Ian Urbina, New York Times, February 26, 2011

Radionuclides Rule: A Quick Reference Guide. Overview of EPA's Radionuclides Rule. 66 FR 76708. December 7, 2000. Vol. 65, No. 236.

Dunmore, PA landfill accepting gas drilling waste that may be radioactive, Steve McConnell, Scanton Times Tribune, February 20, 2011.

Gas drilling committee mulls taking drill cuttings, Mary Perham, Steuben Courier Advocate, January 11, 2011

Environmental Levels of Radium in Water of Central New York, Thomas F. Kraemer, U.S. Geological Survey, Finger Lakes Research Conference, December 4, 2010

Radioactivity and Shale Gas: Some Like It Hot? David Lewis, December 1, 2010.

Uranium in Groundwater? 'Fracking' Mobilizes Uranium in Marcellus Shale, ScienceDaily, Oct. 25, 2010.

Is New York’s Marcellus Shale Too Hot to Handle?, Abrahm Lustgarten and Krista Kjellman Schmidt, ProPublica, November 9, 2009.

NYS DEC Regulations relating to Radiation

NYS DOH Regulations relation to Radiation

Fractured Gas Shale Potential in New York, D. G. Hill, T.E. Lombardi and J.P. Martin, NYSERDA, n.d.

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) in Produced Water and Oil-Field Equipment— An Issue for the Energy Industry, USGS, 1999.

Radiation Danger Found in Oilfields Across the Nation, Keith Schneider, New York Times, Dec. 3, 1990

A Study of Radium-226 and Radon-222 Concentrations in Ground Water Near a Phosphate Mining and Characteristics of the Area Manufacturing Facility with Emphasis on the Hydrogeologic Characteristics of the Area, Barry F. Milsch, James E. Watson, Jr. and James A. Hayes, Water Resources Research Institute, University of North Carolina, March 1984.

Microbial Mobilization of Uranium from Shale Mine Waste, by Birgitta E Kalinowski, Anna Johnsson, Johanna Arlinger, Karsten Pedersen, Arvid Ödegaard-Jensen, Frida Edberg, Geomicrobiology Journal, 2006, Vol. 23, Issue: 3, Pp. 157-164.

Geochemistry of trace elements and uranium in Devonian Shales, J. S. Leventhal, J. G. Crock, M. J. Malcolm, US Dept. Interior, 1981.

Black Shale and Sandstone Facies of the Devonian "Catskill" Clastic Wedge in the Subsurface of Western Pennsylvania, Robert G. Piotrowski and John A. Harper, US DOE, 1979.

Oil Yield and Uranium Content of Black Shales, Vernon E. Swanson, US Dept. Interior, 1960.

Review of 222Rn in Natural Gas Produced from Unconvential Sources, Carl V. Gogolak, DOE, November 1980.

Radiological Survey Report Marcellus Shale Drilling Cuttings from Tioga and Bradford Counties, Pa. and New England Waste Services of N.Y., Inc. Landfill Sites in Chemung, NY Campbell, NY Angelica, NY, Theodore E. Rahon, CoPhysics Corporation, April 2010

Letter re Marcellus Shale Drill Cuttings Disposal in New York State Landfills, Scott J. Foti, DEC Regional Materials Management Engineer, January 14, 2011.

Letter re Marcellus shale potential public health concerns, Edward G. Hom, Director, Division of Environmental Health Assessment, NYS Department of Health, July 21, 2009

Methods for Determination of Radioactive Substances in Water and Fluvial Sediments, L. L. Thatcher and V. J. Janzer, U.S. Geological Survey and K. W. Edwards, Colorado School of Mines, Chapter A5 of Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the United States Geological Survey, USGS, 1977

Interactive Map: Wastewater Samples From Gas Wells Test Positive for Radioactivity

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation analyzed 13 samples of wastewater brought thousands of feet to the surface from 12 gas wells being drilled in the Marcellus Shale. Of those 13 samples, 11 contained levels of radium-226, a derivative of uranium, above the legally allowed amount safe for discharge, which is 60 pCi/L. One sample tested as high as 267 times that amount. Gross alpha and gross beta represent general detections of multiple kinds of radioactive isotopes. The size of the markers on the map above correlates to the number of times the sample from that well tested above the legal limit for radium-226. The DEC's data is reported in Appendix 13 of the revised DSGEIS on hydrofracking.

Well Name
Radiological Readings
Calabro T1
Orange, Schuyler County
Fortuna Energy Inc.
Gross Alpha: 18,330 +/- 3,694 pCi/L
Gross Beta: -324.533 +/- 654 pCi/L
Radium-226: 13,510 +/- 2,655 pCi/L
Carpenter 1
Troupsburg, Steuben County
Quest Eastern Resource
Gross Alpha: 7,974 +/- 1,800 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 1,627 +/- 736 pCi/L
Radium-226: 5,352 +/- 1,051 pCi/L
Frost 2
Orange, Schuyler County
Fortuna Energy Inc.
Gross Alpha: 14,530 +/- 3,792 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 4,561 +/- 1,634 pCi/L
Radium-226: 2,647 +/- 494 pCi/L
Haines 1
Avoca, Steuben County
Avoca Farms Ltd.
Gross Alpha: 54.6 +/- 37.4 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 59.3 +/- 58.4 pCi/L
Radium-226: 0.195 +/- 0.162 pCi/L
Haines 2
Avoca, Steuben County
Avoca Farms Ltd.
Gross Alpha: 70.0 +/- 47.8 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 6.79 +/- 54.4 pCi/L
Radium-226: 0.163 +/- 0.198 pCi/L
Maxwell 1C
Caton, Steuben County
Fortuna Energy Inc.
Reading on 10/7/2008:
Gross Alpha: 17,940 +/- 8,634 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 4,765 +/- 3,829 pCi/L
Radium-226: 2,472 +/- 484 pCi/L
Reading on 4/1/2009:
Gross Alpha: 3,968 +/- 1,102 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 618 +/- 599 pCi/L
Radium-226: 7,885 +/- 1,568 pCi/L
Parker 1
Oxford, Chenango County
Nornew Inc.
Gross Alpha: 3,914 +/- 813 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 715 +/- 202 pCi/L
Radium-226: 1,779 +/- 343 pCi/L
Schiavone 2
Reading, Schuyler County
EOG Resources Inc.
Gross Alpha: 16,550 +/- 3,355 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 1,323 +/- 711 pCi/L
Radium-226: 15,140 +/- 2,989 pCi/L
Webster T1
Orange, Schuyler County
Fortuna Energy Inc.
Gross Alpha: 123,000 +/- 23,480 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 12,000 +/- 2,903 pCi/L
Radium-226: 16,030 +/- 2,995 pCi/L
WGI 10
Dix, Schuyler County
EOG Resources Inc.
Gross Alpha: 10,970 +/- 2,363 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 1,170 +/- 701 pCi/L
Radium-226: 6,125 +/- 1,225 pCi/L
WGI 11
Dix, Schuyler County
EOG Resources Inc.
Gross Alpha: 20,750 +/- 4,117 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 2,389 +/- 861 pCi/L
Radium-226: 10,160 +/- 2,026 pCi/L
Woodhull, Steuben County
Quest Eastern Resource
Gross Alpha: 9,426 +/- 2,065 pCi/L
Gross Beta: 2,780 +/- 879 pCi/L
Radium-226: 4,049 +/- 807 pCi/L
7988 Van Amburg Road
Hammondsport, New York 14840
607-569-2114, info at
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