Environmental Protection

A Comprehensive Oil and Gas Development Radiation Study

The DEP in Pennsylvania will be conducting a study to look at the naturally occurring levels of radioactivity in by-products that are associated with oil and natural gas development.

As part of the new oil and gas radiation study, the DEP will be seeking a peer review of its study plan and begin to sample and analyze the naturally occurring radioactivity levels in flowback waters, treatment solids, drill cuttings, and associated matters such as the transportation, storage and disposal of drilling wastes.

This administration is undertaking what will be the most comprehensive study of its kind anywhere, and Gov. Corbett has directed us to do so in order to be proactive for the future and to continue Pennsylvania’s leadership in responsible development of domestic natural gas resources,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “This thorough and rigorous study, which will focus on conditions here in Pennsylvania, is further demonstration that states are best suited to responsibly oversee the natural gas exploration and production activities taking place in our respective borders.”

DEP routinely reviews radioactivity data in wastes generated by the oil and natural gas industry generates, and the information the agency has obtained to date indicates very low levels of natural radioactivity. This 12 to 14 month study is aimed at ensuring that public health and the environment continue to be protected.

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