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DEP posts radiation study plan

By , - Last modified: April 9, 2013 at 9:24 AM

The state Department of Environmental Protection has released the details of its plans to study radiation associated with deep-well oil and gas drilling.

The agency last week posted several documents on its website detailing the planned research, including an outline of the scope of work, a field sampling plan, a quality assurance project plan and a project checklist.

Gov. Tom Corbett in January ordered the study, which DEP will conduct in conjunction with Perma-Fix Environmental Services Inc., an Atlanta-based firm with offices in Beaver. The study will examine radiation throughout the gas production process, particularly the storage and disposal of flowback water and drilling waste.

Landfill monitors have detected low levels of natural radiation in Marcellus Shale drilling waste, DEP said.

"Based on current data, regulations and industry practices, there is no indication that the public or workers in the oil and gas industry face health risks from exposure to radiation from these materials," DEP said. "The study is aimed at ensuring that public health and the environment continue to be protected."

The study is expected to take 12 to 14 months, DEP previously said.

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