Atlantic Chapter

Atlantic Chapter

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Tell the DEC to Ban Radioactive Gas Drilling Waste

In spite of our successes to keep the drill rigs at bay in NY, tens of thousands of tons of radioactive drilling waste pour over the border every year from Pennsylvanian fracking sites into NY landfills, threatening public health and water quality.

 

Right now there is a pending application to expand the Hyland Landfill in the Town of Angelica in Allegany County, NY, dramatically increasing the amount of drilling waste this facility can accept. Send a message to the DEC telling them New York should not be PA's dumping ground!

 

The Hyland landfill is one of five landfills in New York currently accepting various types of shale gas drilling wastes from Pennsylvania according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP).  Some have estimated that as much as 30% of Pennsylvania’s shale gas drilling waste is coming to New York. In the past two years alone more than 300,000 tons of drilling fluid waste and cuttings have entered NY waste facilities.

 

Incredibly, NYS DEC is allowing solid waste and C&D landfills in New York to accept this waste despite the fact that the black shales that underlie New York and Pennsylvania are known to contain uranium, radium, radon and other radioactive elements. None of New York's landfills are properly equipped to safely handle or dispose of this waste.

 

Tell the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ban the dumping of gas drilling wastes in New York landfills, and study the environmental and public health impacts of this waste stream.

 

Comments on the Hyland landfill application are due by July 21 and we urge all of our members and friends to take action!  Request a public hearing be scheduled to address the radiation issues as well as other environmental and health concerns. More detailed information for additional comments can be found here.


Thank you for all you do for New York's environment!

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Your Message
Ban Radioactive Gas Drilling Waste - Hyland Landfill
I am urging the DEC to ban the dumping of gas drilling wastes in New York landfills, none of which are equipped to handle radioactive and other hazardous wastes. In the past two years alone more than 300,000 tons of Pennsylvania's drilling fluid wastes and cuttings have entered NY waste facilities, threatening public health and water quality. The black shales that underlie New York and Pennsylvania are known to contain uranium, radium, radon and other radioactive elements. The DEC classifies these as naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), but what is actually entering NY's landfills is highly processed and concentrated. The DEC needs to acknowledge that these wastes are not NORM, but are actually technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM). Therefore these wastes do not fall within the exemption in New York's low level radioactive waste law for NORM. I am asking the DEC to conduct a comprehensive study of radiation exposures from the oil and gas waste entering our landfills. As part of this study, the DEC should address issues pertaining to TENORM in: ambient air; drill cuttings (vertical and horizontal); natural gas; natural gas processing pipes and equipment; waste water generated on drilling sites; sludge resulting from the processing of waste water; and landfill leachate, radioactivity levels of flowback waters, treatment solids, drill cuttings and drilling equipment, along with the transportation, storage and disposal of drilling wastes. I believe this study should pertain to all landfill permits in New York, but specifically should be required for the Hyland Landfill in Angelca, NY - currently undergoing a permit application for expanding its waste acceptance capacity. In addition to an exhaustive EIS, I request a public hearing for the DEC to address the community's concerns involving this expansion. Until the DEC has explored all the environmental and public health impacts of the tens of thousands of tons of drill cuttings, fluids, and muds entering NY every year, all permits to accept this waste in our landfills and waste treatment facilities should be suspended. New York should not be Pennsylvania's dumping ground, especially when it is New York that has demonstrated precaution when dealing with the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.