Pa. Senator Says Pennsylvania Bypassed Feds & Issued “Illegal” Permit

Threatens Dimock Waterways With Radioactivity From Fracking

File photo: Dimock billboard in August 2011

A story and podcast by Public Herald on August 29, 2022 tells of serious deficiencies and questionable practices at the PA DEP:

Radium is not a required part of testing and monitoring under the federal NPDES program. But the federal government gives states the authority to place additional limits on pollutants above and beyond federal standards. This includes limits on radium, which is a carcinogenic radioactive element in almost all oil and gas waste. But a Public Herald review of NPDES permits revealed that Pennsylvania DEP rarely chooses to set thresholds for radium, despite their knowledge of high levels occurring in fracking waste. Eureka’s NPDES permit for Dimock is one of these situations.

by Jake ConleyMelissa A. Troutman and Joshua Boaz Pribanic | Public Herald | August 29, 2022

Part of the problem, according to EarthJustice attorney Megan Hunter, is that the decision-making used for permitting is flawed from the start. Hunter told Public Herald that the NPDES permitting system operates on two main premises – the first is water quality standards. The problem with that concept, she explained, is that water quality standards have only been created for certain pollutants. “It’s not like we have water quality standards for every pollutant possible out there,” Hunter said. “Things are going to fall through the holes that are indeed harmful.”

by Jake ConleyMelissa A. Troutman and Joshua Boaz Pribanic | Public Herald | August 29, 2022

MORE: Full story and Podcast

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