Increased fracking in the United States has led to a corresponding increase in water used and wastewater generated as a result. The handling of formation water produces a variety of wastes with increased concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive materials, producing what is known as technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material, or TENORM. Currently, only a patchwork of state regulatory programs in varying stages of development address how TENORM should be stored, transported, or disposed of. There is also no universal standard for determining at what radioactivity level TENORM should be regulated. Therefore, increasing volumes of TENORM are entering a regulatory abyss in the United States. Philip L. Comella, Leader of the Environmental Law and Toxic Torts Practice Group, writes about the source of the problem from a regulatory perspective, including what can go wrong when a new waste enters interstate commerce without a national regulatory program. The article, “Fracking, Earthquakes, and TENORM,” was published in the August 2017 issue of the Air & Waste Management Association Lake Michigan States Section newsletter.
To read the article click here, and scroll to page 3 of the newsletter.