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A travesty

September 7, 2013

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

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(28)

rick424

Sep-07-13 9:01 PM

Texas, he also created the wind and the sun.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 5:52 PM

JerryFromRI,

There are industries that target removing uranium from underground so that it can be used for nuclear related activities. Suggest that you google "in-situ uranium leaching process" articles and images.

This is not what the oil and gas industry does.

Got to go; mother/father in law and sister-in-law in town and we are going to eat.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 5:40 PM

"you're comments lead one to conclude that there better by radiation detectors at that landfill because you sure seem to indicate that some portion of that waste will absolutely be radioactive, by design and necessity"--JerryFromRI

++

I'm not quite sure what you point is....."by design and necessity"

The Marcellus shale contains natural occurring radioactivity that has to be dealt with. No one put it there by design. No one is proposing that you mix the shale with your water and then drink it. No one is proposing that you drink frack flow back water.

There is natural occurring radiation in all kinds of wastes. If their levels are high, like spent uranium at a nuclear powerplant, the are treated one way. If they are low, they are treated a different way. People have decided that Marcellus radioactivity is low enough to put into land fills even though it is higher than the dirt in your back yard.

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JerryfromRI

Sep-07-13 5:38 PM

"Today, there is not radioactive materials deposited in wells by man."

--

When did the practice stop Eric?

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JerryfromRI

Sep-07-13 5:37 PM

"starting from a position of ignorance"

--

Transparency defeats ignorance, claiming 'trade secrets' does not and fosters distrust.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 5:19 PM

JerryFromRI,

I am not saying that the gas industry is pristine and perfect but I do think that everyone should critically evaluate everything with the same standards and measures. Many things do need a certain amount of testing, critical evaluation, and regulation. Be fair.

I believe that God created this earth and all the resources in it, including natural gas and oil. He set us up to be stewards of it and with that comes a lot of responsibility. We need to decide what we use or don't use and when and how to use it. But we don't need to be so absorbed in to materialism that we fulfill all our whims and desires. We have to learn to be satisfied with less and also know when to help those less fortunate.

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eriklatranyi

Sep-07-13 5:17 PM

Today, there is not radioactive materials deposited in wells by man.

Naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as radium, uranium, etc. are down below.

That means Pennsylvania might see uranium wells in its future as well.

We are talking about rock formations one mile below the surface, folks.

For those that think this means our extinction, they are starting from a position of ignorance.

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JerryfromRI

Sep-07-13 5:05 PM

"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?"

--

That is one of the questions posed by this letter's author, and Tex, you're comments lead one to conclude that there better by radiation detectors at that landfill because you sure seem to indicate that some portion of that waste will absolutely be radioactive, by design and necessity.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 4:49 PM

"Should it end up in a landfill above the water table?"--JerryFromRI

++

There are probably lots of things that go into a landfill that you don't want to be in your drinking water. Is the radioactivity in the shale cuttings or frack flowback water any worse them them? That is why they test drinking water sources.

Are you proposing that we put all landfills below the freshwater table? Are you proposing that we get rid of land fills? Are you proposing we dispose of landfill materials deep in the earth? Are you proposing that we encapsulate all landfill products in concrete? It is not like it is spent uranium from a nuclear reactor nor the contamination from the leaking nuclear reactors in Japan nor Chernobyl, Russia.

I wish that we as humans would create less wastes that do go into landfills and would recycle more. I wish that there was less packaging that goes into landfills. I wish that people would be willing to remodel older buildings than bulldozing to build new

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BornHere

Sep-07-13 4:24 PM

No.

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JerryfromRI

Sep-07-13 3:23 PM

Right, I think everyone understands that the uranium is naturally occurring, trapped in the rock below the water table - and radium 226 does come from uranium.

Should it end up in a landfill above the water table?

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BornHere

Sep-07-13 2:35 PM

Marcellus shale contains radioactivity because of a few elements, uranium and thorium and their radioactive decay product Radium-226.

Marcellus is more radioactive than other shale's, its emissions are 20 times higher due to its high uranium content.

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JerryfromRI

Sep-07-13 2:00 PM

The better question is........do the gas companies do something that causes a high, unsafe level of radioactivity to occur? The short, general answer is no.

--

How do you explain radium 226 in waste from well pads here in PA?

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 1:50 PM

I am unaware if the modern Marcellus shale fracks use this but even if they did, it would not alarm me as long as they follow all the existing regulations.

So the summary answer is that fracking is safe and radioactivity levels are below safe thresholds.

Sorry for the long rambling answer.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 1:49 PM

Years ago, when I was involved with fracking, we did do some things like add radioactive sand (called sand tagging) during the last stages of the frack. Then we would run special electronic well logging tools in the wells to measure the radioactivity and determine where the fracture stimulation was placed. We would use it to see if there was much vertical fracture stimulation growth, upward or downward in the desired productive intervals.

Also while we were injecting fluids into a well (acid, fresh water or produced water), you could position an electronic logging tool to eject a small amount of radioactive material (I think it was a radioactive isotope of iodine but memory fades) then we would monitor where the radioactive fluid would go. The half life of the isotope was a week or two and the levels of radiation were pretty low. There was a lot of scientific information that could be learned from these.

Cont>>

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 1:47 PM

The longer, specific answer is that some of the natural occurring radioactivity that is trapped in the Marcellus shale does flow back either with the frack fluid or with the produced water in the natural gas. The levels are below the safety thresholds put in place by regulatory agencies. In some infrequent occasions in the world, there can be some radioactive minerals that are produced and may build up a thin layer of radioactive scale inside the production equipment (tanks or separators); this is called (naturally occurring radioactive material) NORM scale. When companies are finished producing the wells and the equipment is no longer required, there are EPA and other regulations that require the companies to follow certain procedures to decommission the equipment and protect people. NORM scale could even happen in a water well tank or house plumbing with fresh water supply system.

Con't>>

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 1:45 PM

"does the fracking fluid contain radioactive components and if so what kind?" --JerryFromRI

+++

JerryFromRI, there is natural occurring radioactive components all around us and yes you eat or drink it everyday; it is in the water, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and has been with us forever. You are also bombarded with the radioactivity in the air. It is even in our bodies. So yes the fresh water that is pumped into the well contains natural occurring radioactivity. Likewise the frack fluid that flows back also contains radioactivity.

The better question is........do the gas companies do something that causes a high, unsafe level of radioactivity to occur? The short, general answer is no.

Cont>>>

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rick424

Sep-07-13 10:13 AM

Get back to me in a hundred years and ask me if this was a mistake. In the mean time enjoy all the money we make from investments in big oil, enjoy the cheap energy while it lasts and hopefully, in our quest for energy independence, the countries we ship our NG to will still be our friends. While we are at it we better start making allies with the countries that develop green energies because clearly, in the long run, they will be the winners. Enjoy this beautiful, beautiful day, I am glad don't have a gas well in my neighborhood. Cheers!!

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Alsever

Sep-07-13 10:02 AM

Read New Yorker September 13, 2010 to learn just what the radioactive waste standard is based on--Number has no scientific validation! And everyone who works with Radiation is aware that nothing sets off the meters like wood ash from your typical wood stove! But only inn wood grown east of Nevada!

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Capricorn1

Sep-07-13 9:49 AM

If you're that concerned about safe radon levels in your home, install a radon mitigation system. It's a very simple system and they are maintenance free.

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JerryfromRI

Sep-07-13 8:40 AM

Eric, does the fracking fluid contain radioactive components and if so what kind?

I say you owe your neighbors a straight answer.

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MrShaman

Sep-07-13 8:23 AM

"before the shale drilling, we monitored our homes for radon. guess what, the idea was to seal our homes from it." - radioactive

*

Good LUCK!!

"When radon is released from the ground outside it mixes with fresh air and gets diluted resulting in concentrations too low to be of concern. However, when radon enters an enclosed space, such as a house or basement, it can accumulate to high concentrations and become a health risk.

Radon concentrations fluctuate seasonally, but are usually higher in winter than in summer, and are usually higher at night than during the day. This is because the sealing of buildings (to conserve energy) and the closing of doors and windows (at bedtime), reduce the intake of outdoor air and allow the build-up of radon."

See:

Radon Frequently Asked Questions - Health Canada

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MrShaman

Sep-07-13 8:22 AM

*

Good LUCK!!

"When radon is released from the ground outside it mixes with fresh air and gets diluted resulting in concentrations too low to be of concern. However, when radon enters an enclosed space, such as a house or basement, it can accumulate to high concentrations and become a health risk.

Radon concentrations fluctuate seasonally, but are usually higher in winter than in summer, and are usually higher at night than during the day. This is because the sealing of buildings (to conserve energy) and the closing of doors and windows (at bedtime), reduce the intake of outdoor air and allow the build-up of radon."

See:

Radon Frequently Asked Questions - Health Canada

2 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 7:50 AM

Radon is a natural occurring radioactive gas and can build up in cellars of homes because of the poor air circulation and ventilation. So the solutions are to seal it off so that it doesn't enter or ensure adequate ventilation. This problem is not caused by fracking and has been with us for centuries.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Sep-07-13 7:45 AM

Some of the low level, natural occurring radiation that is in the Marcellus shale can flow back after a fracture stimulation, but it is low level radiation.

Similar or even higher levels of radiation can be produced from surface flows of water, like springs, seeps, or artesian wells. As rain water enters the soil and into the underlying layers of rock, it percolates through these formations and can bring out these low level of radioactivity.

There are probably far more toxic items disposed of in landfills that are a bigger concerned like used motor oil from the guy that changes his oil and throws it in the trash, the old lawn mower that still has some gasoline in the tank, the used batteries from from a variety of electronic devices, the household chemicals and cleansers, the old pesticides and herbicides that were thrown in the trash, the paints and primers from the half empty can, the dirty diapers, etc.

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