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Published: November 19, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Shale gas radioactive?

Regarding “Oil, gas groups in Pa. to do radiation study,” Nov. 5, page 16.
The article states the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association are encouraging their members to participate in a study of the naturally occurring radioactive material in shale gas drilling waste which, according to the article, can “contaminate equipment over time.”
The industry has been drilling in Pennsylvania shale for over five years, and in shale plays out west for far longer, and suddenly it occurs to them that radioactive material in drilling waste might be a matter worthy of study? Shouldn’t this have been looked into before they started this drilling endeavor? Or maybe they’re just trying to catch up with the recent Duke University study of radioactive shale gas wastewater showing up in Pennsylvania’s waterways?
The article makes no mention of soil, water, air, workers, residents, pets, livestock or wildlife being contaminated by this radioactive material via leaks, spills, etc. — just equipment.
It’s good to know that the natural gas industry has its priorities in order.

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Joseph P. McMurry
Butler Township
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