PA DEP Announces Study of Naturally Occurring Radioactivity in Gas Drilling By-Products

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced yesterday that it will undertake a study concerning naturally occurring levels of radioactivity in oil and gas drilling by-products.  The study, which is expected to take 12 to 14 months, will sample flowback water, rock cuttings, treatment solids and sediments at well pads and wastewater-treatment and waste-disposal facilities.  It will also examine pipes and well casings, storage tanks, treatment systems and trucks. DEP Secretary Michael Krancer called the study the “most comprehensive of its kind anywhere.” He also said that it will demonstrate “that states are best suited to responsibly oversee the natural gas exploration and production activities taking place in [their] respective borders.” The DEP retained Perma-Fix Environmental Services to assist in conducting the study, and the DEP announced that it will consult with “independent members of academia to peer review the project’s detailed study plan.”  The Scranton Times-Tribune has more.