Bloomberg writes about a study linking above-normal amounts of naturally occurring radiation in a Pennsylvania creek to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the area of the creek, which flows into the Allegheny River.
The study, co-authored by Dartmouth’s Nathaniel Warner when he was at Duke University, was published this week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, Bloomberg notes.
“While earlier studies have identified radiation in drilling wastewater,” Bloomberg writes, “today’s report is the first to examine the long-term environmental impacts of dumping it in rivers.”
Warner, now a Joseph B. Obering Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth, tells Bloomberg that he and his colleague at Duke discovered that “disposal of wastewater from both conventional and unconventional oil and gas operations has degraded the surface water and sediments. This could be a long-term legacy of radioactivity.”