This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.


claysh@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fracking Boom Creating Crisis of Illegal Toxic Dumping

And in Pennsylvania the industry sent 1.3 million tons to landfills last year, including 16,000 tons of radioactive material.


Hundreds of irradiated “filter socks” dumped in an abandoned building found by North Dakota officials on Feb. 28 (Source: North Dakota Dept of Health)

Industrial waste from fracking sites is leaving a "legacy of radioactivity" across the country as the drilling boom churns out more and more toxic byproducts with little to no oversight of the disposal process, critics warn. According to a new report in Bloomberg Wednesday, the controversial oil and gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing is "spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash," which has spawned a "surge" in illegal dumping at hundreds of sites in the U.S.

"We have many more wells, producing at an accelerating rate, and for each of them there’s a higher volume of waste,” Avner Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, told Bloomberg. Without proper handling, “we are actually building up a legacy of radioactivity in hundreds of points where people have had leaks or spills around the country.” Bloomberg reports: Some states allow the contaminated material to be buried at the drill site. Some is hauled away, with varying requirements for tracking the waste. Some ends up in roadside ditches, garbage dumpsters or is taken to landfills in violation of local rules, said Scott Radig, director of the North Dakota Health Department’s Division of Waste Management."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-15/radioactive-waste-booms-with-oil-as-new-rules-mulled.html