Environmental group calls out Pennsylvania drilling study

FILE - In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa. The oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," mobilizes thousands around the country both for and against the process, industry and some environmental. Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas has not caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday in a draft report. The report found several specific instances where poorly constructed drilling wells and improper wastewater management affected drinking water resources. But it said the number of cases was small compared to the large number of wells that use hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. The controversial drilling technique could affect drinking water if safeguards are not maintained, the report said. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

BRISTOL, Pa. (AP) – An environmental group is calling out a Pennsylvania regulator’s study that found radiation levels in oil and gas industry wastewater and byproducts showed little potential for radiation exposure.

The January study by the state Department of Environmental Protection began after questions arose about the radioactivity in the huge volumes of wastewater and solid waste coming out of the ground during the state’s natural gas drilling boom.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network released a review last week on the study of technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials that are brought to the surface by the shale gas drilling industry. It says the study used inaccurate radon measurements and sampling methods. It says the study also improperly tested stream water quality.

The state said it has received the review and declined to comment.

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