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Energy Today - March 7, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted March 7, 2011

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: DEP Announces Testing for Radioactivity of River Water Downstream of Marcellus Water Treatment Plants Shows Water Is Safe: The Department of Environmental Protection today announced results of in-stream water quality monitoring for radioactive material in seven of the commonwealth's rivers. All samples showed levels at or below the normal naturally occurring background levels of radioactivity. The tests were conducted in November and December of 2010 at stations downstream of wastewater treatment plants that accept flowback and production water from Marcellus Shale drilling. "We deal in facts based on sound science," said DEP acting Secretary Michael Krancer. "Here are the facts: all samples were at or below background levels of radioactivity; and all samples showed levels below the federal drinking water standard for Radium 226 and 228." Pittsburgh Tribune Review: DEP finds natural level of radiation in drilling water: The state Department of Environmental Protection today said test show water supplies downstream of Marellus shale gas drilling are safe. Samples from testing in November and December show levels of radiation at or below naturally occurring levels, the agency said. The agency's announcement came after lawmakers last week asked acting Secretary Michael Krancer about the need for tests for radioactivity, following a New York Times story that questioned Pennsylvania's water safety. At his Senate confirmaton hearing, Krancer said such tests were under consideration.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: High radioactivity from Marcellus not found in 7 Pa. rivers: The high radioactivity readings found in some Marcellus Shale waste fracking fluids were not found in sampling done on seven Pennsylvania rivers by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP announced today that water quality monitoring for radioactive materials done in November and December downriver from wastewater treatment plants that accept Marcellus Shale wastewater found no elevated radioactivity levels. All the river water samples showed radiation levels at or below normal naturally occurring background levels for radium 226 and 228, which were found in much higher concentrations in wastewater samples at 116 of 179 deep gas wells.

Associated Press: Pa.: No red flags over radioactivity in 7 rivers: Tests of water in Pennsylvania downriver from sewage treatment plants that handle wastewater from natural gas drilling raised no red flags for radioactivity, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Monday. All of the samples, taken in November and December, showed levels at or below the normal naturally occurring background levels of radioactivity, the agency said. All samples also showed levels below the federal drinking water standard for Radium 226 and 228, it said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.