Essential Pittsburgh
4:28 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

The Allegheny Front Explores Water Contamination in a New Series

Freshly dumped Marcellus cuttings at landfill in Chemung County.
Credit Matt Richmond / The Allegheny Front

This weekend the environmental radio program The Allegheny Front begins a series on water contamination caused by fracking in the Marcellus Shale region. Reporter Reid Frazier said the series will address a suite of issues that have come up with fracking and water. The first topic, airing Saturday morning focuses on the issue of radiation. 

“When the waste comes into the landfill, the waste does go through a radiation detector, a scintillating detector. These levels are certainly higher than you want at your local landfill." 

Frazier explained that Marcellus Shale contains particularly radioactive layers of rock. He said it's completely natural radiation, but when you drill a hole in the ground, dirt accumulates on the surface and that dirt carries with it whatever was in the formation beforehand. This dirt is known as "drill cuttings" and reporter, Matt Richmond, is trying to find out more about any public health concerns from the radiation in the rock.

The Allegheny Front series premieres Saturday morning at 7:30 am on 90.5 WESA.