A Marcellus Shale industry advocate says the study by Duke University of water downstream from the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility is deeply flawed and is “clearly designed to secure headlines.”
Katy Brown of Energy In Depth writes of five significant issues with the report, saying, “The Duke Team is at it again.” The organization has pointed out what it contends is an obvious bias against the Marcellus Shale industry by the Duke researchers, who receive substantial funding from environmentalists.
Brown says this particular study of Blacklick Creek, which claimed to have found radium levels that were about 200 times greater downstream from the treatment plant than it found upstream, doesn’t point out that the radium levels are still within the established guidelines for drinking water. She also writes that the samples were taken very near the plant, including the one in 2012 that measured the highest level of radium, was taken “one meter from the source”. The second-highest reading was taken ten meters from the plant, well before the discharges had a chance to dilute. She says that’s like “taking an air sample directly from the tailpipe of a car and declaring an air quality crisis.”
Neither federal nor state officials have commented publicly on the Duke study. Brown’s blog post can be found at energyindepth.org/marcellus.