Radiation Testing Shows Marcellus Shale Drill Cuttings are Safe for Chemung County, NY Landfill

Chemung County, NY officials have released a report they commissioned from an independent certified health physicist that show levels of radiation in the Marcellus Shale drill cuttings coming from Pennsylvania Marcellus drilling operations to the Chemung County landfill are “well below” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for radiation.

The gist of the report is that the soil that the county landfill would accept from Marcellus Shale drilling poses no health threat from radiation, said County Executive Tom Santulli.

“These people are experts. They made it very clear that this material is less radioactive than the countertops in our houses and soil in our gardens,” Santulli said. “My message is simple—this stuff is not toxic. It’s no more radioactive than the soil in your garden and bricks on your house. All this testing verifies that. This is way below any EPA levels.

“This would be equivalent to taking dirt from your backyard and using it in landfill,” he said. “It can be used for cover. It’s that safe.”*

However, the debate still rages. Those opposed to drilling claim there is a significant threat to human health from the drill cuttings. County Executive Santulli says those opposed “have zero credibility” on the matter with no facts to back up their claims.

For more information on both positions, see the full article in the Star-Gazette.

*Elmira Star-Gazette (Apr 11) – County study says soil from gas drilling is safe