This was forwarded to me by Doctor Lora and other people have pointed out that this has been going on. This is why in my first post I said go to this website:
They will deliver a printed copy to IDNR which gets you around the whole computer/internet thing.
AND Dr. Laura is suggesting that you send your comments to JCAR who must approve the final regulations before they become law. I am not sure how effective that would be but it takes so little time it can’t hurt. But still run them through IDNR repeatedly if you have to.
If they can’t get their website right, how are they going to get the rules right?
— General Summary of Rules on Radioactivity
Subpart H: High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Preparations and Operations (245.800-245.870)
245.850 Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Storage, Disposal or Recycling, Transportation and Reporting Requirements
Comment: Subsection (d)(1) of Section 245.850 provides for testing radioactivity only one time–during the early flowback stage–and only for “naturally occurring radioactive materials”. The problems with this are identified below.
The proposed rules do not include any standards or protocols to follow if testing of flowback water shows unacceptable levels of radioactivity.
The proposed rules do not require the testing of “produced water”, which is the water produced from a well in conjunction with oil or natural gas production. This is where radioactivity is most likely to show up. It should be noted that while these Rules have been purported to be the strongest in the nation, PA law requires the testing of produced water at two separate intervals.
The proposed rules do not require testing for added radioactive materials, like depleted uranium, which can be used in the perforation/fracturing operation.
The proposed rules do not test work areas for levels of radioactivity that would call for OSHA standards of occupational safety.
These deficiencies, cumulatively or singly, would pose a significant risk to the public health and safety, property, aquatic life, and wildlife, in violation of section 1-75(a)(2) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act.
— Produced Water Needs to Be Tested for Radioactivity (same subpart-H, and section: 245.850)
Notably absent from this section is a requirement for the testing of “produced water”, the fluid that returns from the well later during production and is most likely to contain radioactivity. Under the proposed rules, “produced water” can be stored on site and/or can be “recycled”, yet there is no testing requirement.
Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and technologically enhanced naturally occuring radioactive material are both found in “produced water”. See Technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials in the oil industry (TENORM), Nukleonika 2009; 54(1):3?9, and sources cited therein, especially for TENORM in produced water in the U.S., available athttp://www.nukleonika.pl/…/full/vol54_2009/v54n1p003f.pdf. See also
NORM is also found on scale in oil pipes and on fracking equipment. (See Kentucky Resources Council Proposes Comprehensive Plan For Investigating Radiological Contamination In Martha Oil Field. August 11, 2005.http://www.kyrc.org/webnewspro/112381723236086.shtml.)
IDNR’s definitions of “flowback water” and “produced water” are different. They are treated differently by both the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act and by the DNR Rules. The Department knows that produced water will be in contact with the naturally occurring radioactive elements in the ground for a longer period that the flowback and that it is much more likely to be radioactive. Therefore it should require it to be tested and handled accordingly.
Problems: Failure to test produced water for radioactivity is problematic for a variety of reasons including:
The health and safety of workers on the site who will be unaware of the levels of radioactivity they are being exposed to. The health and safety of workers transporting produced water who will also be in the dark regarding the levels of radioactivity they will be exposed to.
The risk of storing radioactive material in tanks not created for storing radioactive materials.
The risk of “recycling” produced water—radioactivity cannot be removed by recycling.
The risk to the public in transporting radioactive materials
Argonne National Laboratory recently cautioned about radiological doses: “It is commonly accepted that efforts should be undertaken at all times to keep radiological doses ‘as low as reasonably achievable,’ which is referred to as the ALARA principle or requirement.” Overview of Radiological Dose and Risk Assessment (April 2011). DNR is failing to even adequately test for radioactivity and therefore, will not know the levels of radioactivity. How, then, can DNR adequately protect workers and the general public?
At a bare minimum, the rules should require that “produced water” be tested at two separate intervals across time for radioactivity. This is already required in Pennsylvania. The rules should also require that the requirements of the Illinois Low Level Radioactivity Waste Management Act be followed.
— Rules need to include requirements or standards when radioactivity is found (same subpart-H and section:245.850)
The proposed rules include no follow-up requirements or standards if testing shows radioactivity levels in flowback to be high. In other words, these proposed rules treat flowback the same whether it is highly radioactive or not! DNR knows that naturally occurring radioactivity material occurs in Illinois oil and gas operations. See 62 Ill. Admin. Code secs. 240.860(e)(3), 240.861(k)(1)(C).
Revisions Needed: The rules must specify how flowback AND produced water will be treated if they test positive for radioactivity. The rules should also require that the requirements of the Illinois Low Level Radioactivity Waste Management Act be followed.
Go there and comment. More today.