Rolling Stone Magazine Journalist Justin Nobel and Youngstown City Senior Battalion Chief Sil Caggiano to Expose Harms of Radioactive Oil/Gas Waste Press Release by Ohio Community Rights Network, January 15, 2020
Ohio Community Rights Network
Tish O’Dell, OHCRN Board
Youngstown State University Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
Susie Beiersdorfer, Adjunct Professor, OHCRN Board
Colleen McLean, Associate Professor
Youngstown, OH: On Saturday January 25, 2020 at 12:00 PM, at Youngstown State University, 210 Lincoln Ave. in Cushwa Hall, Room B100, Rolling Stone journalist Justin Nobel and Youngstown City Senior Battalion Chief Sil Caggiano will be presenting crucial information on the dangers of radioactive fracking waste as a special YSU Energy and Environment Speaker Series event.
Science journalist Justin Nobel has spent the past 20 months reporting on the issue of the radioactivity brought to the surface in oil and gas production, and the many different pathways of contamination posed to the industry’s workers, the public and communities, and the environment.
He will speak about his findings to be published in the February issue of Rolling Stone Magazine and his book on the topic to be published with Simon & Schuster and tentatively titled: “Petroleum-238: Big Oil’s Dangerous Secret and the Grassroots Fight to Stop It.”
Chief Caggiano has served the citizens of Youngstown and Mahoning County for over 37 years. He has received numerous professional recognitions and has training and experience as a HazMat/ WMD Specialist.
He will share his concerns over the danger to both first responders and residents from the fracking industry.
In Justin’s research he has dug up never-before-released early reports from the oil and gas industry that highlight the radioactivity problem and its risks to workers and the public, and he has been led to a set of recent court cases linking oil and gas worker deaths from cancer to radioactivity on the job. What’s scary is these aren’t necessarily specialized jobs, these documents reveal that everyday oil and gas work such as that of a derrickman, roughneck, or truck driver involve considerable exposure to radioactive materials and can lead to cancer.
Justin has also spent months gaining access to present-day workers in the Marcellus and Utica, some of them have been stealthily capturing samples of the waste they haul, and have taken great risks to share their information with him.
Justin’s reporting, involving hundreds of interviews with scientists, environmentalists, state regulators and industry workers, has also revealed shocking public health risks that our federal and state regulators appear to have ignored.
Radioactivity is present in a number of different types of oil and gas waste, from brine, to sludges and scales generated at the wellhead and in downstream industry equipment such as pipelines, compression stations, natural gas processing plants, and ethane cracker plants. The disposal of this waste presents dangers at every step — from being trucked along America’s highways in unmarked vehicles; handled by workers who are misinformed and left unprotected by its dangers; leaked into waterways; stored in municipal dumps that are not equipped to contain the toxicity; and even used in household commercial products that had been sold at hardware stores and are still being spread on local roads.
Chief Caggiano has served the citizens of Youngstown and Mahoning County for over 37 years receiving numerous professional recognitions. He has the distinct honor of being an original member of the Ohio Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Technical Advisory Committees that was established by the state in 2004 to improve the state’s capability to respond to hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction incidents in the wake of September 11th 2001. He has served as an advisor to FEMA on matters pertaining to HazMat response and has been a presenter at various seminars on HazMat / WMD topics and used as a subject matter specialist in various consulting and legal matters.
Caggiano states, “It is with that background of public service I must say that in my opinion current laws involving the Fracking Industry place the public, the emergency responders and the drillers themselves in needless danger.”
Dr. Ray’s Energy and Environment Speaker Series
Dr. Ray’s Energy and Environment Speaker Series was created by the late Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, a YSU Distinguished Emeritus Professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences for 25 years. This lecture series, which began in 2013, is sponsored in part by the YSU James Dale Ethics Center.
The theme for the series is energy and the environment and topics in the past have included biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, environmental activism, geology, journalism, law, political science, public health, religion, and seismology.
The series is held at Youngstown State University, 210 Lincoln Avenue in Cushwa Hall Room B100. All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact Colleen or Susie.
Ohio Communities Part of Growing Movement
Ohio residents are advancing Community Rights as part of the broader Community Rights Movement building across the United States, where other localities are advancing similar measures to establish and protect their rights to a healthy climate, clean air and water, and the right to local community self-government.
To learn more about the Ohio Community Rights Network, visit ohiocrn.org.
Refer also to some photos showing oil and gas drilling waste intentionally dumped by companies in Alberta:
On a public road in the Lochend, about half an hour NW of Calgary. The waste reeked. The “regulator” refused to investigate.
On public road about half and hour NW of Calgary
About a mile west of Rosebud, Encana dumping its waste on foodland in 2011. It was a terribly windy day, the waste spray could be seen carried far in the wind. Residents, including children, were leaving church in the Hamlet of Rosebud.
What toxic radioactive substances were they breathing?
Strips of Encana’s waste dumped in 2011 on foodland just west of Rosebud
Encana dumping its waste in 2012 on the same cropland as in 2011
This waste also reeked, and burned nostrils, eyes and throat of the person filming.
Waste dumping on foodland in the Lochend in 2013
What are we eating and drinking?
Radioactive frac waste piling higher and higher; Groundwater used by families showing significant increases in radium. Montana regulator, DEQ, trying to increase radiation limit for frac waste up four times, four times more than allowed in any other state.
Pennsylvania: Grant Township vs DEP legal battle over drilling & frac’ing waste water continues. “The waste contains radioactive material and unknown chemicals. The regulations are failing our people.”
Texas Supreme Court rules in two months that energy regulator doesn’t have exclusive jurisdiction over McAllen’s radioactive contamination win against Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. (previously Forest Oil), Refuses to wipe out $22.7 million (US) arbitration award
Didsbury Hell: Do ordinary Albertans pay to repair oil & gas industry damages to public roads caused by hauling hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated oilfield waste? Radioactive? Toxic with secret chemicals, carcinogens, heavy metals, BTEX? Hold your breath if you live nearby.
Hauling oilfield’s toxic waste to pile near Didsbury, damaging public roads
Guess who pays to fix that?
Didsbury’s proud pile of the oil and gas industry’s toxic, likely radioactive waste. What are you and your loved ones breathing when the wind blows?
How stupid can humanity get, or was this greed driven? Steve Harper committed North America to Radioactive Hell? Deadly shipments to start by road of 23,000 litres of highly radioactive liquid waste from Ontario to South Carolina, 100 to 150 armed convoys hauling the waste for years 1,700 km through some of NA’s most populous areas
2012: Hunt launched after Halliburton loses radioactive rod in Texas desert, Fears rod containing americium-241/beryllium could fall into hands of terrorists after employees of US oilfield services company lost it in transit between oil wells
The Most Horrific Frac Deregulation Yet? US EPA preparing for “widespread” radioactive frac waste contamination of drinking water or because it’s already happened? EPA’s proposed “protective regulation” to allow dramatically higher levels of radioactivity in drinking water
“For every barrel of oil produced, ten barrels of waste are produced—with eighteen billion barrels of fluid waste produced each year.”
As the years pass, we learn more about the highly toxic nature of that waste and the gaping regulatory loopholes in its handling and disposal. One such reminder, Hydraulic Fracturing, Radioactive Waste, and Inconsistent Regulation was published by Hella B. Zelleke.
Some alarming excerpts:
Ninety-eight percent of oil and gas waste is produced water—a radioactive by-product of the hydraulic fracturing industry. This wastewater contains concentrated radioactive materials known as Technically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (“TENORM”). However, TENORM is not regulated under federal law, because of broad exemptions by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).
These outdated exemptions do not address the threat radioactive hydraulic fracturing waste presents to public health and the environment. Because of the federal exemptions, the radioactive waste is stored in open pits, dumped in landfills, and is injected into disposal wells. These disposal wells are exempt from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”), leaving aquifers unprotected.
In addition, a study has also shown that between 2009 and 2014, there were in excess of 21,000 spills from overflowing storage tanks, ruptured pipes, and other accidents or deliberate dumping that released 175 million gallons of waste in eleven states. These studies indicate that stricter regulations are required to protect public health and the environment.
The placard on this truck says “Residual Waste” but what does that mean?
Predominately GOP legislators are trying to pass legislation allowing the O&G industry to resume “brine” spreading (from conventional O&G wells) on Pennsylvania’s public roads. These fluids bear very little resemblance to what’s used to brine a Thanksgiving turkey, other than their saltiness (so do not use this brine on a turkey).
Plus the BIG question: How do you really know what they’re dumping? Without strict monitoring (highly unlikely) those fluids could also be from unconventional Marcellus Shale wells. In either case, it’s toxic stuff that’s best kept out of our environment.
Cute little smiley face, but the liquid had a very strong chemical odor that really stunk, so I gathered a sample for a watershed friend to test. He said the odor about knocked him off his feet when he unscrewed the cap! The road borders Cross Creek County Park which is a SPECIAL PROTECTION WATERSHED.