January 25, 2013

Want a Little NORM in Your Landfill?

NORM is not the normal kind of item you would like to see at your local landfill site.  NORM stands for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material.   Somehow I think we are supposed to feel better about it being natural.  What a sham.  Can we be safer from NORM than radiation from a nuclear plant's waste?

Finally, after several years of industrial HVHF operations, PA is going to study the levels and affects of NORM.  Hopefully this will be an objective, true scientific analysis and not an industry white report.

From the PA DEP report:
The Department of Environmental Protection is committed to ensuring the
development and use of Pennsylvania’s oil and natural gas occurs in an
environmentally responsible manner. In 2013, DEP will undertake the most
extensive and comprehensive study ever done to examine the levels of naturally
occurring radiation in a variety of equipment, materials and media associated with
oil and gas development, as well as the potential environmental impact and
exposure to the public and workers.
Radiation occurs naturally in material found in a variety of environments, such as
underground rock formations. The handling and treatment of such naturally
occurring radioactive material may result in the increase in concentration of
radiation levels.
While I am thankful PA is doing a comprehensive study, it is just incomprehensible that all aspects of drilling operations continue, as normal, while the DEP decides the impact of radioactive materials!  One of the main talking points Dr. Anthony Ingraffea has made repeatedly over the past few years is that we will not know the effects of accumulated contamination and wastes until many years hence.  What is painfully obvious is that PA is declaring that it knows there is some level of radiation to be dealt with AND will allow continuation of the industry operations that release it.

Back in 2011 the NY Times did a report exposing the risk factors of high levels of radioactivity.  So none of this information is new science!  For New York to move into industrialized HVHF drilling during 2013 would be insane and a literal crime against the citizens of NY.   Gov Cuomo asked for "the science" and it is coming out of every corner of the country (and Canada too). Sadly, what is happening in PA affects NY and OH as well ~ the rivers flow north and wastes are being stored out of state

For more reading on this topic, check out Susan Phillips' blog at StateImpact Pennsylvania. 

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