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ND’s New Shale Issue: Radioactive Waste

ICYMI: The Wall St. Journal reported that “at a deserted gas station in a remote North Dakotan town, local officials recently found an unintended byproduct of the shale-oil boom: hundreds of garbage bags filled with mildly radioactive waste.”  

“These bags, which were discovered late February in Noonan, N.D., contained what are known as ‘oil socks’: three-foot-long, snake-like filters made of absorbent fiber. The shale-oil industry uses the socks to capture silt from waste water resulting from hydraulic fracturing.”  

“Days earlier, a similar trove had been found on flatbed trailers near a landfill in Watford City—which, like Noonan, is located in the state’s sparsely populated westernmost reaches where the Bakken oil shale formation lies.”  

“The two recent incidents show that North Dakota’s regulators have been slow to address repercussions from the surge in crude output, ranging from widespread flaring of natural gas at oil wells to drill rigs popping up on historic lands.”

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