What’s Missing in Latest Duke “Radioactive” Study? Real Science

Real Science - Try it.Those crazy, anti-drilling kids at Duke University are at it again. They released a “study” in a “peer-reviewed” journal yesterday (a study funded in part by the anti-drilling Park Foundation) that took samples from a creek downstream from a wastewater treatment plant that used to (but no longer does) treat Marcellus fracking wastewater. Republican Michael Krancer put an end to frack wastewater treatment by such facilities in early 2011, something the Rendell administration couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Krancer and the Marcellus Shale Coalition said municipal plants processing frack wastewater was creating an issue (see PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water). So the Park/Duke kids sampled a single creek before the practice had ended and found, not surprisingly, high (but not dangerous) levels of radioactivity in the stream bed. In other words, they’re reporting what we’ve known for the past three years.

What do the headlines in hundreds of newspapers and online sources (with lazy reporters) blare out today? Fracking causes radioactivity in streams and rivers (plural) in Pennsylvania. Even though the Duke study only looks at a single location in a single creek and the data predates when the practice ended. Real science would have investigated multiple wastewater treatment plants, not just cherry-picking one. Real science is not funded by an avowed anti-drilling organization like the Park Foundation. And real science would have pointed out frack wastewater treatment at these plants ended several years ago. But then, no one ever accused Park/Duke kids of performing real science

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