Radioactive Fracking Waste Rejected from PA Hazardous Waste Dump
As far as we know, Fracking waste is not yet being imported into Maine dumps.
However, unlike Pennsylvania which tests for radiation from materials going to its dumps, Maine does not have similar laws.
There is currently no law in place that would prevent Casella, which is currently processing Marcellus Shale Waste, from sending the waste to the State-owned JRL dump in Old Town.
Shale truck sets off alarm in South Huntingdon
April 23, 2013
A truck loaded with Marcellus shale drill cuttings that triggered a radiation alarm at a hazardous waste landfill in South Huntingdon was ordered back to a Greene County drilling site last weekend.
Township Supervisor Mel Cornell said the MAX Environmental Technologies truck was quarantined Friday after it set off a radiation alarm at MAX’s landfill near Yukon, a 159-acre site that accepts residual waste and hazardous waste.
DEP spokesman John Poister confirmed the drill cutting materials from Rice Energy’s Thunder II pad in Greene County had a radiation level of 96 microrem.
The landfill must reject any waste with a radiation level that reaches 10 microrem or higher.
Fracking Truck Sets Off Radiation Alarm At Landfill
April 24, 2013
Radium is a well known contaminant in fracking operations, particularly in the Marcellus Shale formation.
“The material in question was radium 226, which is what we expect from shale drill cuttings,” said John Poister, spokesman for Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. “Every landfill in the state has radiation monitors, and this showed the system did work.”
MAX has applied for a permit to accept a higher level of radiation at its South Huntingdon landfill.
Pennsylvania claims to be “the only state that requires through regulation that landfills monitor for radiation levels in the incoming wastes.”
“Should waste trigger a radiation monitor, the landfill must use a conservative and highly protective protocol that DEP developed to determine if the amount and concentration of the radioactive material can be accepted. This protocol ensures that the materials, such as Marcellus Shale drill cuttings and other sources of naturally occurring radiation in the waste stream, do not pose a risk to public health during disposal.”
Radium is also perceived as a threat to water quality. The brine that returns to the surface after hydraulic fracturing has been found to contain up to 16,000 picoCuries per liter of radium-226 (pdf). The discharge limit in effluent for Radium 226 is 60 pCi/L, and the EPA’s drinking water standard is 5 pCi/L.
Fracking Debris Ten Times Too Radioactive for Hazardous Waste Landfill
April 25, 2013
A truck carrying cuttings from a Pennsylvania fracking site was quarantined at a hazardous-waste landfill and sent back after its contents triggered a radiation alarm showing the load was emitting 96 microrem of radiation per hour; the landfill rejects waste with levels above 10 microrems.
The radioactive material from a site in the Marcellus Shale formation was radium 226, a common contaminant from the decay of uranium-238 that tends to accumulate in bone and can get into water.
Officials said “everything was by the book in this case” because the alarm went off as designed; the fracking operators can now either re-apply at that landfill or take their deadly waste to an out-of-state facility that accepts it – and yes, they exist.
The scariest thing here: Pennsylvania, which is currently studying radiation contamination associated with fracking wells, claims to be the only state that even requires landfills to monitor radiation levels.