Landfill Wastewater Showing Elevated Radioactivity

by | Apr 22, 2014

fracking drill rigRadioactivity is showing up in wastewater from gas field landfills in West Virginia that serve as disposal sites for Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling cuttings. 

According to a report by Public News Service, tests on water leaching from the Meadowfill landfill near Bridgeport vary widely.

Water leaching from Meadowfill averaged 250 picocuries per liter last year, according to the report. The clean drinking water standard is 50, but some tests showed spikes as high as 2,000 picocuries or drops to below 40. Wetzel, another landfill taking large amounts of the waste, also showed radioactivity.

Drinking water standards may be too high for use on leached fluids, but officials are relying on the tougher standard because county is not prepared to deal with radioactive waste in municipal garbage dumps.

Concerns about radioactive drill cuttings have prompted state lawmakers to increase monitoring at the landfills. However, state government may not be moving fast enough.

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