Container Marked “Radioactive” at Range Resources Impoundment in Washington Co. Spurs Calls To DEP, Inspector Investigating


By Amanda Gillooly

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday confirmed that an inspector had been called to a centralized impoundment in Washington County operated by Range Resources after residents complained about unusual activity there.

DEP spokesman John Poister said there was “material that raised some concern” at the Carter impoundment in Mt. Pleasant Township, and that the department was awaiting the results of soil characterization tests that Range Resources is conducting.

He said there was an issue with the weir system at the impoundment, which he said is used to filter solids out of water used in the fracking process.

Residents who live near the impoundment became concerned when they saw blue containers at the impoundment with stamps reading DOT SP 11406. An Internet search shows that these containers are used to transport radioactive waste.

Asked if those containers were actively being used by Range Resources to remove and transport radioactive waste, Poister said he did not know, but that the company would be required to have a permit known as a Form U in order to do so.

“I have not seen a Form U,” he said.

Poister said it was “premature” to draw conclusions until the soil characterization tests were completed. He said the results would likely be available Friday afternoon.

He also confirmed that DEP’s “radiation people are not involved,” adding that the department’s oil and gas folks were handling the issue.

“We have to wait and see what turns up,” Poister said.

Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella did not immediately return an email Thursday seeking further details.

Editor’s Note: Photos of the container and impoundment were submitted.

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11 thoughts on “Container Marked “Radioactive” at Range Resources Impoundment in Washington Co. Spurs Calls To DEP, Inspector Investigating

  1. There has not been any studies for depleted uranium used in the exploding perf gun. Why? This is the hidden danger ! Why won’t anyone talk about it ?

  2. Dory Hippauf says:

    in a January 2013 letter to the editor,John Krohn, formerly with Energy-In-Depth, responded to concerns about fossil fuel practices, which included frack ponds. According to Krohn, all those frack ponds in Pennsylvania do not exist.

    “The author also cites wastewater management as a concern noting the use of “frack ponds” poses a risk to the health of nearby residents. The good news for those residents is that whatever a “frack pond” might be, they aren’t being used in Pennsylvania. Here, the natural gas industry uses closed-loop management systems which ensure fluids and other wastes never come into contact with the environment.”

  3. janine says:

    Note the hay near by. UMMMM, no doubt food for the livestock we will be eating! Who says it’s not in “our back yard” We cannot get away from the disrespect we hold for our surroundings.

  4. Mary Sweeney says:

    The article says that the blue containers at the site were marked with a code (DOT SP 11406) that indicates a container is being used for radioactive waste. If a container is being used to store or transport radioactive material, shouldn’t it be clearly marked with more than just a code that means nothing to the general public?

    • Mary Sweeney says:

      Someone pointed out to me that if you zoom in on the photo of the container you can see that it does say “radioactive” above the code in the upper left-hand corner of the container. Now I am wondering if the container bears one of those yellow and black international radiation symbols–I don’t see one in the photos above. Also, the sign saying “radioactive” is a lot smaller than the one saying “SUNPRO.” I think a container used to transport radioactive waste should be more clearly and visibly marked than this one seems to be, judging from the photo.

    • BH says:

      Mary– Good question. When I first discovered that DU was being used in fracking perf guns (and other nuclear materials e.g., well-logging tools), I FOILED the NRC which is supposed to issue permits for such use. The reply came back “no records found” but included a note saying “this response might be due to the fact that the information is classified in the interest of National Security”. Which would require Obama’s signature.

      I also searched the DOT records which seem to be online and also found nothing. Both DOT and NRC should be issuing a permit to Halliburton, Schlumberger, Owen Oil Tools, Frac-Tech and other oil field service companies… so where is the paper trail? … wiped clean in the interest of national security??

  5. marigrace butela says:

    We need a DEP that protects our residents. If elected as State Representative in the 52nd District, Fayette County I will fight for hearings to be held holding all those accountable for any contamination of water, soil and air due to Marcellus shale development. I will also fight for hearings to be held concerning the DEP and their unwillingness to protect our environment. Many families in Fayette County, PA have experienced harassment & just plain bullying from big corporate powers. We need new government here in PA!!! We need honest government who will put people first before big corporation profits. Government should never be about controlling people; rather, it is the people who should be controlling their government.

  6. Linda says:

    What does Arden do with the contaminated dirt? Having a potentially radioactive mountain next to the interstate doesn’t sound very responsible to me. Can you report on how this unclean fill is dealt with?

  7. […] of radioactive waste from fracking in Washington County, the county where Terry lived and died:… Given that his water went bad after gas drilling began; given that two vertical wells were drilled […]

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