Fracking truck triggers radiation alarm while trying to enter landfill

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 15:46 EDT
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Two people wearing radioactivity protection suits. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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A truck carrying drill cuttings from a fracking site was turned away from a landfill in Pennsylvania on Friday after it triggered a radiation alarm, local newspaper The Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.

An official in South Huntingdon township told reporter Paul Peirce that the truck was found to have a “low level” of radiation, about 96 microrem to be precise, which is comparable to the amount of radiation a person might absorb after roughly two-and-a-half hours in direct sunlight, but much less than a medical x-ray or even a long flight.

The truck was quarantined and sent back to the drilling site upon detection, authorities said. The landfill does not allow waste that reads over 10 microrem of radiation. In this case, officials explained the substance found was radium 226, which is naturally occurring in shale formations.

The truck carrying the waste was reportedly owned by Pennsylvania-based MAX Environmental Technologies, which specializes in waste disposal and cleanup. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the truck sent back, and the company is considering alternative sites for the drill cuttings.

Meanwhile, Forbes reporter Jeff McMahon noted that the company has applied for a permit to allow the disposal of more radioactive materials in South Huntingdon.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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