Our Leaders Cannot Hide the Chemicals in our Drinking Water

by Duane Nichols on April 28, 2011

Since 2008, water samples in the Monongahela River have shown increased levels of bromide chemicals.  This is likely coming from blow-back water from Marcellus fracking operations and other possible sources.  The Ohio River at Wheeling, for example has shown similar trends.  As a result, there have been high levels of bromine containing disinfection by-products, in particular trihalomethanes, detected that have the potential to cause cancer if consumed as drinking water.  Earlier reports on FrackCheckWV.Net examined this issue.

As a result, the following Resolution was adopted today (April 28th) at the regular monthly meeting of the various watershed and conservation groups of the Monongahela area and adjacent counties:

“The WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact herewith endorses and promotes the adoption and implementation of a numeric Water Quality Standard for Bromide, by the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Ohio River Sanitation Commission, and/or the US Environmental Protection Agency.   An in-stream water quality standard for bromide (of approximately 50 to 100 micrograms per liter) may be necessary to protect the public water supplies of the Monongahela Basin, as well as downstream in the Ohio valley.  This proposed standard should be developed after a systematic study and public hearings have taken place, and as soon as possible.”

On April 20th, the editorial in the Wetzel Chronicle (New Martinsville) was entitled “Drilling Issues” and said in part: “A framework created to protect the safety of our home and ensure that we can welcome these profitable ventures into our community while limiting “externalities” can go a long way towards belaying citizens fears and providing legitimacy and securing the rights of the companies working in our backyards.”

And on April 21st, the editorial in the Dominion Post (Morgantown) was entitled “Odds Worsening in Shale Game”.   Among other words it said, “PA-DEP has ordered Marcellus shale drillers to stop bringing their wastewater to treatment plants for discharge into rivers and streams by May 19.  Where it will be treated or discharged after that wasn’t announced.  But don’t even think about shipping it here. […..]  Although WV prohibits dumping this water into our rivers and streams, it does allow for injecting it deep into the earth into disposal wells.  Yet, we suspect that even this process poses risks to our aquifers.  And as a rule only about 20 percent of the chemical-laced water used in these wells is even extracted and injected underground.  The rest finds its way somewhere.   […..] When the need to regulate Marcellus shale drilling hits a crisis level our leaders won’t be able to hide.”

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