Study: Radioactivity from oil, gas wastewater persists

Treated oil and gas wastewater flows into a stream in Franklin in 2015. A four-year study by Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment found stream sediments at disposal sites such as this one have radioactivity levels 650 times higher than sediments at upstream sites. (By Avner Vengosh, Duke University)

DURHAM, N.C. - More than seven years after Pennsylvania officials requested the disposal of radium-laden fracking wastewater into surface waters be restricted, a new Duke University study finds that high levels of radioactivity persist in stream sediments at three disposal sites, including on the Allegheny River in Franklin.

The contamination is coming from the disposal of conventional - or nonfracked - oil and gas wastewater, which, under current state regulations, can still be treated and discharged to local streams.

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