"Do You Want Radiation in Your Water?," asked the main banner outside the Capitol today in Harrisburg where people gathered from around Pennsylvania came to express their concern about or outright opposition to gas drilling. The gathering drew substantial press coverage.
Comprehensive testing for radionuclides and other contaminants have been done by the Pennsylvania American Water Company, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 14 drinking water suppliers, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. All this testing has been done from November 2010 to today.
All the testing shows all water meets the Safe Drinking Water Act levels with just background levels of radionuclides.
Moreover as of June 2nd, Secretary Krancer stated that ZERO drilling wastewater is being discharged into Pennsylvania's rivers and streams. As a result, the gas industry is putting less wastewater into streams today than before the first Marcellus well was drilled in 2005.
Good people don't know any of this good news that results from great work by regulators, industry, and environmental organizations. And there is a reason.
Good people have not had it reported to them at all or in a manner maximizing the odds that they will read it. In fact the media essentially has reported the opposite to them in big, sensational stories.
And so good people believe that the gas industry is poisoning their water with radionuclides, chemicals, and total dissolved solids. Why?
Some are demagoguing these vital issues. But the bigger problem is the press coverage.
The media consistently fails to cover at all or in the same way the news about radionuclide test results or achieving zero drilling water discharges as it covers initial sensational reports of possible problems.
The possible problem is front page news. The good news is not news at all apparently or so boring as to be relegated to small articles buried in the paper.
Would somebody in the Pennsylvania media beyond the Patriot News report on Secretary Krancer's statement that ZERO drilling wastewater is going into rivers and streams?
Would even one paper make that news a front page, banner headline? Good people deserve better.