Monday, June 6, 2011

Media Generally Fails To Report ZERO Drilling Discharge Milestone

With the notable exception of The Patriot News, I have yet to see any coverage of Secretary Krancer's announcement on thursday, June 2nd that no drilling wastewater is being discharged to Pennsylvania's streams.

I reported this news on my blog on June 3rd.  PennFuture reported the news in its excellent weekly publication, Session Daze (see  I saw a link to The Patriot News story on the website of Keep Tap Water Safe.  As of last night, google searches turned up just these reports to the public.

Has anyone seen other reporting of this milestone?  Please send them here if you have.

Pretty amazing.  Pennsylvania for decades discharges drilling wastewater to rivers and streams without treatment for TDS.

The NYT states Pennsylvania water is quite possibly poisoned with radionuclides and then does not bother to report each and every water test proving not so. 

The AP runs numerous stories that are put on front pages around the state raising alarms of one sort or another about drilling wastewater discharges.

But when an historic milestone--good news, not sensational, not alarming--of zero drilling wastewater discharges is achieved, this Big News is covered in Facts of the Day, PennFuture, and a page 4 story in the Sunday Patriot News.


    Pa. says flow of drilling wastewater almost halted

  2. A couple of issues raised in your post above require correction.
    First, you write that the Times said that PA water is quite possibly poisoned with radionuclides.
    Actually, what the Times series highlighted was the need for heightened testing to ensure that radioactivity was NOT in the rivers and streams. Only in response to the Times’ series did the state do what it should have been doing all the while.
    Second, you mention that the media hasn’t covered the results of the tests that were conducted. Actually, that is incorrect. Most news venues did cover it, including the Times. See, for example, here: ( These test results generated a letter from the EPA and a continued conversation regarding further water testing to ensure there are "safe levels" in PA rivers - a back-and-forth that the Times and plenty of other venues have continued to cover.

  3. I appreciate the comment. I think most people reading the Times February 27th article thought it had suggested that radionuclides may be poisoning Pa waters. I called for testing that day to not get into an argument.

    Testing for radionuclides had been done previously by drinking water companies, though not annually because the threat was and is very, very small. DEP began further in stream testing in November 2010. Testing is good.

    The times reported on just the state test results. It did so in a grudging piece deep in its big paper.

    To my knowledge, and I may be missing it, The NYT has not reported on the PAWC test results. It has not reported on the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority test results.

    All of which show no radionuclides or any other contamination.

    It certainly has not put on its front page above the fold on its sunday paper: "Pa Water Safe."

    And of course it has not said a word about the latest milestone. I guess there is always tomorrow's paper.