This week, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported that no dangerous levels of radioactive material were found in tests of waste treatment releases into 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 showed levels below the federal drinking water standard for Radium 226 and 228."
The sampling stations were installed last fall to monitor stream quality for potential impacts of Marcellus development. The water tested is the raw water in the river before it enters public water suppliers' intakes where the water receives further treatment.
The river testing stations evaluated included: the Monongahela at Charleroi in Washington County; South Fork Ten Mile Creek in Greene County; Conemaugh in Indiana County; Allegheny at Kennerdell in Venango County; Beaver in Beaver County; Tioga in Tioga County; and the West Branch of the Susquehanna in Lycoming County.