Category Archives: Issues And Science

Wendell Bradley’s recent paper on fracking disposal procedures – a must read.

Safe Release of Colorado’s Radioactive E&P Waste

Commercial Landfills in Colorado have been advised that disposal of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (E&P) waste is not exempt from Colorado Solid Waste Regulations (1), for example, 6 CCR 1007-2.  Disposal of fracking waste is a nation-wide problem.


Fracking’s vertical/horizontal drill tailings, flow-back/produced water, scale, and filter socks are all almost certainly radioactive at levels unacceptable for ordinary landfills.  Pipe and tank scale exceed acceptable release levels the most due to their continuous build-up of waste (2).


Each oil-well completion destroys from 5 to 10 million gallons of fresh water (Sci Am, July 2015)–permanently removes it from the hydrologic cycle by deep-injection, waste-disposal wells; the lesser value if recycled once. Such injection is necessary because frack waste water is radioactive and otherwise dangerously polluted (benzene, biocides, formaldehyde, etc).  Local Operators may or may not use filter socks, thus recycle their frack water.  Water recycling is a typical claim, however, to deflect criticism of egregiously wasteful practices in a water-sensitive region.

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Is Fracking a Good Idea?

By Weston W. Wilson

Earlier this month I had an unusual request.  Our nephew in Pennsylvania is a middle school principal and one of the teachers there has a 9th grade science class that decided to study fracking.  They presented me with six challenging questions.  Here are their questions and my responses.

  1. Do you support the idea of fracking? Why or why not?
    I do not support fracking because fracking: 1) harms the climate, 2) can pollute local ground water and release toxic air emissions, 3) consumes vast quantities of clean water, and 4) because local governments are forced to accept this large scale industrial development in their communities. Continue reading