BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the Meadowfill landfill in Bridgeport to stop accepting drilling sludge which was deemed too radioactive at one of the company’s dumps in Pennsylvania.

The sludge, totaling 12 tons, came from a Range Resources natural gas drilling operation in Pennsylvania.

Had the waste not been rejected by the Arden Landfill in Chartiers, Pa. — also operated by Waste Management — the WVDEP said it would not have acted.

“We received some lab reports and the lab reports indicated no levels of concern,” WVDEP spokesperson Kelly Gillenwater said. “However, we found out [Wednesday] that this same material had been rejected at a landfill in Pennsylvania because, apparently, some radiation detector there at the landfill registered a level of concern.”

The radiation was not detected by the landfill in Bridgeport because there was not extensive monitoring.

“That currently is not a requirement under West Virginia law,” Gillenwater said. “However, legislation was passed recently requiring the DEP to implement rules related to that and our agency is actually in the process right now of drafting rules related to that.”

The law requiring landfills to monitor radiation levels of drilling waste doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2015, which allowed the Bridgeport site to collect the waste.

Officials from Range Resources maintain while the material does contain radiation, the levels are not unsafe.

“Our agency is still investigating,” Gillenwater said. “Once we get all the information, then we’ll make a determination of what to do going forward.”

Meadowfill landfill is prohibited from collecting more drilling waste until further notice.

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Comments

  • Hillbilly

    Sounds like the best place for it is where it came from... way down in an abandoned gas well.

  • Shadowr

    According to the WSJ, you could stand by a truck load of sludge and not get as much radiation as one dental X-Ray.

    • Mr.P

      You must work for a driller

    • Shadowr

      Add:: sludge for a year

      • Paul

        Ask your dentist if he/she is allowed to throw radioactive waste in the dumpster for disposal in the landfill.

        • The bookman

          No, as there is a handling and storage process for radioactive medical waste. But after 10 half lives, it most likely goes straight to the landfill, as it is no longer distinguishable from background radiation. It may also be recycled.

      • Mr.P

        Something is wrong with the way you think,u need to get your head checked

        • The bookman

          Mr P,

          We are surrounded by radiation, as many elements are found naturally in a radioactive state. The concern with drilling sludge is that it can become concentrated, and those handling it everyday can suffer increased health effects due to the duration of their exposure. But as the previous post mentions, the radioactivity found in this sample registers just above the normal background level of radiation you receive everyday while walking around in the world. Let's not make it out to be more than what it is, and be diligent to treat it with the level of caution it deserves.

          • Mr.P

            In 5 to 10 yrs when the only safe water to drink is bottled remember Mr.P told you so

  • Mr.P

    The D.E.P. won't do anything unless they are pressured by the public

  • Aaron

    With the amount drilling that will occur and the fact that radiation is a natural byproduct of drilling waste, the EPA and state DEP's need to address this issue.

  • Mr.P

    I bet this isn't the only place in WV and P.A. this is going on,start stocking up people on bottled water because in 5 to 10 years it will be the only safe water to drink.