Monday, October 18, 2021

Play

Pennsylvania hit a milestone last week with 70 percent of adults fully vaccinated, but there's still work to be done; and no provision in Florida for live public comment on proposed voting maps.

Play

U.S. Senate to take another stab at passing a voting rights bill; Democrats push the Build Back Better plan; and supply chain gridlock could stick around through 2022.

Play

A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

‘Naturally Occurring’ Pollutants From Fracking Called ‘Serious Concern’

Play

Friday, December 20, 2013   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Many Arkansans are concerned about the fluids natural-gas drillers pump underground for hydraulic fracturing.

But researchers say naturally occurring chemicals, some radioactive, coming out of the wells may be more of an issue.

Avner Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University, has studied the brine – salty water from rock layers such as the Fayette Shale in Arkansas that are fracked for natural gas.

He says brine-containing things such as bromide and naturally radioactive radium could become a problem – even if people have focused on the artificial compounds that drillers put down the holes.

"But the natural occurring constituents are as problematic and sometimes even more – could be very harmful to the environment and human health, but are naturally occurring," he explains.

Vengosh says the oil and gas industries are exempted from the Clean Water Act, otherwise they'd have to clean up the brine before it gets into surface or groundwater.

The industry says it is recycling more of the fracking fluids it uses, and says it is not damaging water quality.

Vengosh agrees that the industry is recycling more. But he says bromide from the brine is still a cause for concern if it gets into the water treated for drinking.

He says bromide combines in a dangerous way with chlorine.

"This combination can generate a very toxic organic compound, could be very toxic if consumed by the people that use the water from this utility," he stresses.

Vengosh adds natural radium in the brine puts out a low level of radioactivity. He says that might not be a concern, but he has found it can accumulate in the sediment at water treatment facilities.

And he says it may also bio-accumulate – build up as organisms feed on each other, perhaps even fish that humans eat.

"It could move from bugs in the sediments into higher organism, higher-order organism and eventually end up with fish," he explains.

He says the good news is that the brine can be treated.

"And it's doable,” he explains. “There's no need for technological breakthroughs. All those technologies are available. The only question is the cost."





get more stories like this via email

Republicans in charge of Florida's redistricting process say conversations still are ongoing on how to include public participation in the redistricting process despite proposals from Democrats and advocates. (terimakasih0/Pixabay)

Social Issues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - When it comes to Florida's once-a-decade process of redrawing political boundaries, known as redistricting, both House and Senate …


Health and Wellness

DENVER - The use of telehealth services - a combination of telephone, video and other online tools - peaked during COVID closures, and Coloradans …

Health and Wellness

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania hit a milestone last week with 70% of adults fully vaccinated - but there's still work to be done. A new grant program …


Kentucky resident Ethan Koeler spent two weeks in the hospital after contracting the coronavirus. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Marshall County resident Ethan Koeler said he was skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine. Then the 29-year-old contracted the novel …

Health and Wellness

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin is seeing similar COVID-19 patterns in long-term care facilities compared to fall of last year. Advocates for the state's …

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a flu shot by the end of October offers the best seasonal protection. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Parts of Minnesota are still seeing a COVID-19 surge, with the flu season also taking shape. Health officials say that dangerous …

Social Issues

SIMSBURY, Conn. - A northern Connecticut town now owns a former tobacco farm where Martin Luther King Jr. spent some of his teenage years. More …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. - Post offices across Michigan and the nation are implementing service changes in an effort by the agency to cut costs, but labor …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021