Thursday, February 14, 2013

DEP Should Investigate Thoroughly Bromide Levels From Washington County Mine Discharges

It's important neither to rush to judgment nor dismiss concerns about gas drilling.  That's my reaction to the story by Natash Khan in the Observer Reporter about reportedly high levels of bromide in acid mine discharges in Washington County. Khan writes about water sampling and testing done by volunteers that reportedly show bromide levels in the acid mine discharges 10 times higher than expected.

One source of bromide is gas drilling wastewater, and the article speculates about the dumping of gas drilling wastewater in the area.  The speculation rests in part on one proven case of dumping in the region that led to criminal convictions.

I certainly would like to know more about this matter. I expect Auditor General Depasquale, who is auditing DEP's programs to protect our water from gas drilling pollution, would like to know more about this case and DEP's response.  I hope DEP and the Governor would like to know more as well. 

1 comment:

  1. Concerned ScientistFebruary 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I agree that it needs to be investigated. But let's keep our heads on straight.

    The article says this

    "Once bromide gets into rivers like the Monongahela, it is likely to be so diluted that it isn’t a real threat."

    It's important to keep that in mind and not get everyone all worked up about something that in all likelihood isn't causing any serious contamination of drinking water.

    There is no evidence that this is from gas drilling wastewater at this point. Let's wait and see what the facts are before getting all hot and bothered