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The Elephant In The Room

By       Message Bob Fitrakis     Permalink
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This missing number, presumably much higher than 48 times the legal limit, is the critical number needed to understand the level of radioactive contamination in the Mahoning River. 

The ODH appears to have only taken one sample and is not reporting out any radium results from the standard 21 day hold test. 

Despite repeated requests from the Stark County Concerned Citizens for the final test results on the illegal dumping, neither the OEPA, ODH nor ODNR have been forthcoming. Also suspicious, the ODH split its single sample with the private Summit Labs. Oddly, the Summit Labs failed to hold the radioactive sample for 21 days. Instead, they opened and analyzed it three times in that period, allowing radioactivity to escape.

The Free Press previously reported that the ODH's Snee initially denied that fracking mud from Pennsylvania heading for Columbus, Ohio landfills contained 896 pico curies of Radium 226. When confronted with his own lab test, he later acknowledged that the results were true. Snee seems to be adopting a standard tactic among Ohio bureaucrats -- you don't have to report the real numbers if you never do the test and put it in a public record. 

This developing pattern is at the heart of the intentional dumping. The OEPA and the ODNR claim no final results or records of the radioactive contamination. And, the ODH has failed to produce any data needed to assess and protect the health of Ohioans. 

Columbus Dispatch aids in the cover-up  

The headline in a January 27, 2014 Columbus Dispatch article screamed "Ohio EPA, health officials dismiss radioactive threat from fracking." The article reads: "Although it's unknown how much radiation there is, there are some standards already in place. That's why state officials say they have no plans for similar surveys or precautions... 'We're not looking at that right now,' said Michael Snee, the Ohio Department of Health's radiation-protection division chief." The Dispatch fails to outline what standards or tests are actually in place in Ohio. 

Meanwhile, other newspapers are reporting fracking disasters from other states. The AP and the Guardian (UK) reported that "Radioactive Waste Dumped by Oil Companies Is Seeping out of the Ground in North Dakota."
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A report from Duke University stated that "Elevated levels of radioactivity, salts and metals have been found in river water and sediments at a site where treated water from oil and gas operations is discharged into a western Pennsylvania creek." 

"Radium levels were about 200 times greater" downstream than upstream from a fracking wastewater treatment plant, said Avner Vengosh, Professor of Geochemistry and water quality at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. 

A 10-page memo from the ODNR outlines their PR strategy to promote fracking in Ohio public land. The memo accuses "environmental-activists" of an "attempt to create public panic" on fracking risks. If reporting the facts from environmental scientists and health officials induces panic on the dangers of radioactivity and fracking -- consider it done! 

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