Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gas Drilling Extracts Radioactive Waste

While the Star-Telegram toils relentlessly to tell you about the horse race to sign neighborhoods in the Barnett Shale, the Dallas Morning News and the Denton Record-Chronicle are busy doing actual journalism. Imagine!

In this morning's DMN and DRC, a report indicates that the fracing process used to extract the natural gas from the Barnett Shale can also extract radioactive waste. Known as technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive material, or NORM, the residue can be the most toxic waste that oil and gas production generates.

Blasted free by millions of gallons of fresh water and chemical soup sent miles below ground, some of earth's baddest geological actors – radioactive elements capable of scarring soil and scourging human health – are slowly rising to the surface along with the Barnett Shale's natural gas.

Writes Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe: "Statewide, 140 such sites were decontaminated from January 2005 to the present, according to documents obtained from the Department of State Health Services, which oversees disposal of the state's hottest radioactive waste. ... Moreover, 25 of those decontamination sites were in Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties, the core counties of the Barnett Shale."

Even though the Barnett Shale is being sold to us as easy money with no downside, this is not the case. Don't just accept what drillers say, get involved and demand accountability. I recommend that you:

  • Contact the Fort Worth Department of Environmental Management and ask them what steps they take to survey drilling equipment for NORM.

  • Contact the Mayor and your city council representative and take steps to protect us and our natural environment from these dangerous drilling by-products.

  • Contact the Star-Telegram and demand less coverage of the Barnett Shale horse race and more coverage of the real-world consequences of urban gas drilling.

    TXsharon said...

    Thank you for calling for better coverage by the Star-Telegram. Their job is to educate the public not to cheer lead for the oil and gas industry.

    donyoungglass said...

    I keep getting asked if it's time to evacuate the Fort, move to an island or Austin or Australia. My answer to that is a decisive, Hell no.

    It's not time to run away. It's time to do our duty and fight corruption in whatever capacity and with whatever skills or influence we have. Aim carefully your word or action of choice, and fire away! Repeat as needed.

    If you have been on the sidelines in the gas drilling wars, this issue should be enough to inspire you into action. If not, maybe you should abandon ship.


    Suzette said...

    Does anyone know the approximate number of individuals that are not crazy about Urban Gas Drilling...(ones who are against it, or, are not sure what to think, but are willing to listen)?
    I say we bet on the idea that Politicians respond to numbers... ("power in the people"). Let's go to City Hall, just 10 people needed to support a speaker for ten minutes. Don? Bernie?
    Let's start putting the pressure on our Council Reps....whynot?

    BTW, shall we count the number of our Council Reps that will "push" for the reconvening of the Gas Drilling Task Force, even if the Mayor says "No".?

    Wendy Davis
    Chuck Silcox

    Any others?

    Juniper said...

    Holy crap....