Newly disclosed figures show wastewater produced from the natural gas drilling practice of hydrofracking has contained radioactivity and other contaminants at levels far exceeding federal limits. According to the New York Times, internal government documents show at least 15 wells produced wastewater with more than 1,000 times the amount of radioactive elements considered acceptable. The wastewater is sometimes brought to sewage plants ill-equipped to properly treat it and then disposed into rivers supplying drinking water. At least 12 sewage plants in three states discharged partly treated wastewater and waste into rivers and streams. The documents also show government regulators and industry officials knew of the problems with the wastewater disposal and treatment but took no action. On Tuesday, protesters rallied following a New York City Council hearing on plans to open the parts of New York state watershed to drilling. This is Joe Levine of the group N.Y. H20.
Joe Levine: "They know it’s contaminating, and they’re doing it anyway. The 18,000 wells is a projection. There could likely be very many more than 18,000 wells. They haven’t been approved. They would be allowed to proceed if these regulations are completed and put out. So once they complete these regulations, gas drilling will be able to commence in the Delaware River Basin."