Energy. Environment. Economy.

DEP Secretary: regulating radiation may be “next frontier” of drilling oversight

Gov. Tom Corbett's former deputy chief of staff, Christopher Abruzzo has served as acting secretary of DEP since April.

Gov. Tom Corbett's former deputy chief of staff, Christopher Abruzzo has served as acting secretary of DEP since April.

The state Department of Environmental Protection’s acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo says regulating the radioactive materials associated with gas drilling could be the “next frontier” of the agency’s oversight of the industry.

In an interview with the Scranton Times-Tribune, Abruzzo says the DEP is still in the midst of its year-long study into naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and technologically enhanced material (TENORM).

“It will depend largely on what the results [of the study] show us,” Abruzzo told the newspaper. “It certainly has the potential to be the next frontier in terms of regulations coming out.”

Listen to the Scranton Times-Tribune interview:

Although the DEP says it’s unlikely there is a threat to public health, concerns about radioactivity associated with oil and gas development persist.

A study published last month in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology found high levels of radiation and salinity in a creek near a drilling wastewater treatment facility in western Pennsylvania.

After submitting a lengthy criticism about the DEP’s radiation study, two organizations representing the state’s oil and gas industry announced last week they will launch their own review of radioactive materials associated with their work.


  • env121

    The threat is real! The PADEP has shown that it cannot and will not regulate this industry. Each day that goes by poses more threats to the health, safety and welfare of the residents.

  • Bill Adams

    Another Imaginary Problem. But, those who are working for the other energy suppliers’ public relations departments, knowingly or unknowingly, will say “We are in danger!” Poor, deluded people. One Imaginary Problem after another.

    • Rod

      Mr. Adams, with all due respect.
      The words you say “poor deluded people, imaginary problem” sounds like you really don’t believe that problems do exist.
      You tell me when your ready to have you and your family drink the water, eat the fish and take a drip in the creek and I will come and watch.
      you believe that problems don’t exist, I do believe you live in an “Imaginary world”

      • Bill Adams

        Living in the country gives a clearer view of the fraud involved in Imaginary Problems. The grass grows, the birds sing, Fish swim. Things are pretty good. Then, the Giant Nannies come. Problems everywhere. Maybe, that’s how they make a living?

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