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.”
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.