WVU Prof Stokes Radioactive Fears, Says DEP Study Missing Research

Say What?Here’s a story that we confess, we’re having a tough time wrapping our brains around. Allegations are swirling in West Virginia that one of three officially conducted studies for the state’s Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released last year overlooked important data collection. The study in question was completed in December 2011 and released in February 2012. Titled “Pits and Impoundments Final Report,” the report looks at frack wastewater impoundments and water pits used in horizontal Marcellus Shale drilling (see WVU Study Finds Potential Problems with Frack Wastewater Pits for a copy of the full study). From what we can determine, solid waste, like drilling mud and “cuttings” (leftover rock and soil from drilling) were not part of that study–at all.

But now, the Charleston Gazette identifies and quotes a WVU professor who supposedly worked on that study (although his name doesn’t appear in the study) who says researchers tried to test drill cuttings for radioactivity and were either denied access or put off/delayed until they finally ran out of time and had to file the report without doing the analysis. It’s now a big deal because anti-drillers are raising the specter that everyone is about to glow in the dark from radioactive drill cuttings going to landfills across the state. The WVU prof seems to be intentionally stoking those fears…

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