A travesty

The recent article by the Associated Press on radioactive Marcellus Shale waste should be of particular interest to the people of Wellsboro and Antrim.

According to the information published in several Pennsylvania newspapers, 1,000 truckloads of Marcellus Shale waste were stopped at state landfill gates last year after tripping radioactive sensors.

Most of the loads of these low-level wastes were allowed to proceed after the state Department of Environmental Protection and landfill operators deemed the loads safe for disposal at the facilities.

Does the Antrim Waste Management landfill, which was permitted for construction debris but now handles mostly Marcellus Shale waste, have the proper radioactive monitoring devises? Has the landfill accepted any radioactive Marcellus Shale waste?

According to the Pennsylvania Code, CHAPTER 236. LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENTAND DISPOSAL, the Antrim landfill would be prohibited from handling any low level radioactive waste.

25 Pa. Code 236.128 states that:

(a) Disqualifying criteria. Potentially suitable sites may not be located:

(1) Within 1/2 mile of a well or spring which is used as a public water supply (as in the Brownlee Water Shed which supplies Wellsboro with water and the wells and springs supplying Antrim).

(6) In areas over active or inactive oil and gas wells or gas storage areas (such as the EQT gas wells which have been drilled under and around the landfill area).

(8) In areas over active or inactive mines that are identified and substantiated by public records (the landfill is situated on top of the old Antrim mines).

It is irresponsible that the Marcellus Shale wastes, which are clearly hazardous but required by the Halliburton Loophole to be labeled non-hazardous residual waste, can be stored in a landfill designed for non-hazardous construction debris. Placing radioactive waste in such a landfill is a further travesty.

The DEP, Wellsboro Borough Council, Wellsboro Municipal Authority and the Tioga County Commissioners must ensure that the water coming from the Antrim area is safe now and for the future.

They have an obligation to question the operation of the Antrim landfill and inform the public of the results.

Ron Kamzelski


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom