Allegheny County Rich Fitzgerald hosted an evening at Deer Lakes High School to promote his plan to lease the gas rights under Deer Lakes Park. Many members of the public were in attendance to speak against his plan.
As outlined with great detail in my previous blog, ‘On Deaf Ears‘, most of the citizens with environmental concerns for that park, in northeastern Allegheny County, were all too well aware of what had transpired with drilling in Washington County, just to their south, and Cross Creek County Park in particular.
There ended up being two documented spills and fish kills during fracking in park, as well as a timber cutting blunder, where five acres of timber was mistakenly removed from the neighboring cemetery. A local resident, familiar with the park, said some of the best trees in the park were cut down, just to create that drilling pad.
During those months of lively debate in Allegheny County, with hours of comments by concerned citizens who wore green scarves in solidarity, the Washington County commissioners joined the push to promote the leasing, even taking part in promotional videos hosted on YouTube by Range Resources. (You guessed it, Range ended up getting that gas lease!)
As I started looking beyond that time period, it was quite revealing, yet not surprising, to see some of the outcomes from that drilling and fracking, of 9 wells on a drilling pad right next to Deer Lakes Park, just to the east…
In the WASTE REPORT for just ONE of the nine wells on that well pad next to Deer Lakes Park, we see 207 entries, with a majority of the destinations being well pads and tank farms, all over Washington County, as well as these 6 entries for the ARDEN LANDFILL. Notice that 4 of the listings are for “Soil contaminated by Oil and Gas related spills, in the months of February, June, and October of 2018, as well as in February 2019.
The amount of contaminated soil from those four spills totaled 9.27 tons, which equals 18,540 pounds of soil contaminated by Oil and Gas related spills. Added to that, was 4.68 tons of “Synthetic Liner Materials” which equals 9,360 pounds, plus 150.21 tons of “Drill Cuttings,” equaling 300,420 pounds, and finally, .95 tons of “Drilling Fluid Waste” which equals 1,900 pounds.
Again, this was only part of the drilling and fracking waste hauled into Washington County from that one well.
Learning further, we read and hear, in an August 5, 2020 Podcast from PUBLIC HERALD, titled: Pennsylvania Regulators Won’t Say Where 66% of Landfill Leachate w/ Radioactive Material From Fracking is Going…”It’s Private” with this disturbing information:
“Oil and gas waste from fracking contains high concentrations of Technically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM), and wherever this radioactive TENORM waste is stored, rain carries water-soluble radionuclides such as Radium two twenty six through the landfill to create what’s known as leachate – the landfill’s liquid waste. This TENORM laden leachate is commonly sent to Waste Water Treatment Plants (W.W.T.P.’s) that are not equipped to remove it before it’s dumped into rivers.”
The Washington – East Washington Joint Authority Sewage Treatment Plant, at 102 Arden Station Road, in Washington, Pennsylvania, accepts landfill leachate from the Arden Landfill, which is located right next door. Since the landfill accepts large volumes of drilling and fracking waste, that leachate contains drilling and fracking effluent, which is then discharged into Chartiers Creek, ultimately flowing into the Ohio River.
“Pennsylvania is known as one of the largest traffickers of waste in the country, producing and importing large amounts of waste for its 45 landfills. The 30 residual waste landfills we’ve identified that have accepted fracking’s TENORM waste now actively store dangerous amounts of TENORM material — mainly Radium 226.”
Learn more in another feature story on drilling waste by Public Herald, titled “They’re Going to Die” – Experts & Whistleblowers Reveal Life of Trafficking Radioactive Waste.”
P.S. Don’t miss the first part of this blog: On Deaf Ears