Fracking waste deemed too radioactive for hazardous-waste dump. A truck carrying fracking waste was quarantined and then sent back to where it came from after its contents triggered a radiation alarm at a Pennsylvania hazardous-waste landfill.
The truck’s load was nearly 10 times more radioactive than is permitted at the dump in South Huntingdon township. The radiation came from radium 226, a naturally occurring material in the Marcellus Shale, which being fracked for natural gas in Pennsylvania and nearby states. “Radium is a well known contaminant in fracking operations,” writes Jeff McMahon at Forbes. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Township Supervisor Mel Cornell said the MAX Environmental Technologies truck was quarantined Friday after it set off a radiation alarm at MAX’s landfill near Yukon, a 159-acre site that accepts residual waste and hazardous waste. Frackers are flushing radioactive waste into rivers. Frackers often treat their wastewater a little bit like sewage, passing it through water treatment plants and then flushing it into streams and rivers.
It may be an improvement on pumping the stuff back into the ground, which can trigger earthquakes, but new research reveals that this can be a dangerously shitty approach to managing frack water. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, entails injecting water and chemicals into the ground to break up underground rocks and release oil and gas. When that water burbles back to the surface, however, it comes back laced with traces of metals, isotopes, and other pollutants that normally sit harmlessly deep beneath the soil. Duke University researchers studied a fracker’s wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania and found it removed more than 90 percent of the radioactive radium from the wastewater. ‘Alarming’ presence of radioactivity found by Pennsylvania fracking wastewater study. Des documents confidentiels sur les dangers des gaz de schiste publiés par le «New York Times»