Return to main blog

Monday, March 7, 2011

EPA, State in Dispute Over Wastewater Drilling Tests

The Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania regulators were at odds Monday over the water quality from hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling technique occurring throughout the state.

Pennsylvania regulators said Monday that sampling for radioactive materials in seven rivers late last year showed that water quality met or exceeded federal standards. The tests were conducted in November and December downstream from facilities that treat drilling wastewater.

The EPA, which urged more stepped-up testing, told Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer in a letter that data provided by the state agency to the EPA "indicate that wastewater resulting from gas drilling operations...contains variable and sometimes high concentrations of materials that may present a threat to human health and aquatic environment." Those materials include radionuclides, organic chemicals, metals and dissolved solids, the EPA said. Read More