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[Excerpt from PublicHerald.org report] A Look at Drill Waste Pits and Groundwater
During the filming of Triple Divide, journalists, filmmakers, and Public Herald founders Melissa Troutman and Joshua Pribanic met Judy, a Pennsylvania resident and neighbor to a Marcellus shale natural gas well pad.
In 2007, Guardian Exploration, LLC drilled for natural gas 450 feet from Judy’s home.
The process of drilling for natural gas produces waste materials brought up from the subsurface mixed with drilling and hydraulic fracturing fluids. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes these wastes as “radioactive”:
Radioactive wastes from oil and gas drilling take the form of produced water, drilling mud, sludge, slimes, or evaporation ponds and pits. It can also concentrate in the mineral scales that form in pipes (pipe scale), storage tanks, or other extraction equipment. Radionuclides in these wastes are primarily radium-226, radium-228, and radon gas. The radon is released to the atmosphere, while the produced water and mud containing radium are placed in ponds or pits for evaporation, re-use, or recovery.
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