The New York Times published a disturbing article today, “Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers“.
With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.
While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.
The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.
Pennsylvanians and Americans anywhere near hydrofracking are left to wonder about just how safe their tap water (and well water) really is. Bottled water is no answer as it’s a path in all the wrong directions because of the amount of oil used to make the bottles, the health hazards those bottles themselves create, and the problem that billions and billions of them going into landfills create for thousands of years to come.
It’s crazy what we tolerate as citizens from our elected officials who are supposed to be working for us. That has proven to be a complete fantasy in the Koch Party, and the Dems are not much different it seems.
Some interesting and disturbing facts about bottled water:
Out of the 50 billion bottles of water being bought each year, 80% end up in a landfill, even though recycling programs exist.
17 million barrels of oil are used in producing bottled water each year.
Bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water. Drinking 2 Litres of tap water a day only costs 50 cents per year.
Plastic leaches toxins into the water, which have been linked to health problems such as reproductive issues and cancer.
Here’s a challenge for all the pro-business GOP shills out there: Take a drink from one of the water treatment facilities that have no means for testing for radiation and which are located downstream from a sewage plant where fracking water was sent, and then have that water tested.