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Radioactive Surface Waters Prove Fracking Industry Deceit

Energy companies and their apologists—both in Harrisburg and in scientific labs across the U.S.—have reassured Pennsylvania citizens over and over that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is a completely safe technology. They have repeatedly stated that surface water contamination from fracking fluid isn’t possible. They claimed that, because all operations take place beneath the water table, toxic discharges from fracking wastewater can’t pollute Pennsylvania’s lakes, rivers, and streams. They promised us that, if any discharge ever occurred, it would represent no danger to plant, animal, or human life.

They lied to us, and we believed them. Don’t we feel stupid now?

The smoking gun

In October 2013, a scientific research paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology finally put the lie to the fracking industry’s claims. The researcher discovered sediment from fracking wastewater had contaminated Blacklick Creek, a waterway that eventually feeds into the Allegheny River. The sediment contains radioactive compounds, such as radium salts, that measured over 200 times the normal “background” level of radioactivity at the site.

It is highly unlikely that the radioactive material occurs naturally at Blacklick Creek. The nearby Josephine Brine Treatment Facility is known to treat wastewater from gas drilling operations. Although energy companies have refused to reveal exactly what goes into the fracking fluids that are injected deep underground, it is not believed that radioactive compounds are used. However, the natural decay of radioactive ores far beneath the surface produces radium, radon, and other radioactive byproducts. The most likely explanation, then, is that the radioactive contamination in Pennsylvania is caused by fracking fluid that has dissolved radioactive salts underground and then returned to the surface as wastewater, bubbling up with natural gas through the drilling shaft like soda through a drinking straw.

Millions of gallons of water are used in every hydraulic fracturing well in Pennsylvania. This volume of water is essential to the process and cannot be reduced, which implies that the problem of wastewater—and now, radioactive wastewater—is inherent in fracking operations.

The attorneys at Ostroff Injury Law are on the case

The nation’s only Frackcident™ injury law firm, Ostroff Injury Law, believes that contamination of Pennsylvania’s land and water by poisonous and radioactive wastewater compounds is a disaster playing out in slow motion. Once those contaminants are in our waterways, it’s just a matter of time before they enter the food chain, with alarming risks to wildlife, pets, and human health.

It may already be too late to prevent this.

It is not too late to hold the big energy companies to account for the damage they have inflicted. If you have been harmed by the actions of an energy company or its employees in Pennsylvania, a fracking injury lawsuit may be able to compensate you for the injuries you have suffered. To schedule a confidential evaluation of your case, contact the Pennsylvania fracking injury lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law at (855) 880-6667. We accept fracking injury cases from all Pennsylvania counties, and we do not charge legal fees unless we are able to secure a recovery for your case.