The Pennsylania Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it had tested water in seven rivers downstream of treatment plants that accept hydraulic fracturing wastewater from gas drilling and found "all samples showed levels at or below the normal naturally occurring background levels of radioactivity." For more, click here.
The state agency's announcement came days after The New York Times published a series of investigative articles headlined "Drilling Down," that discussed the potential radioacivity of hydraulic fracturing wastewater.
In response to those articles, former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger published a letter in the Times suggesting that all public water systems should be tested for radioactivity, no matter how remote the threat.
"Pennsylvania should order all its public water systems to immediately test for radioactive pollutants," Rendell and Hanger wrote. "Only testing of our drinking water can resolve this question and give citizens peace of mind."
Meanwhile, Clean Water Action and other groups are planning a hydraulic fracturing protest rally in Harrisburg, Pa., at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday outside the Capitol Forum at the S.E. corner of the Capitol Complex on Walnut Street between Commonwealth Avenue and 7th Street. “Gas drilling companies like Exxon Mobil are making billions of dollars in profit, but not paying their fair share" in taxes, Clean Water Action said in a written statement.