I am responding to your article on the leak at the John Day impoundment, characterized as chloride-contaminated groundwater (“Range Resources’ John Day Waste Impoundment Leak a Bigger Problem,” June 12). From what we know, the leak detection system under the impoundment failed to function, and as a result, no one knows how long or how much leaked. It’s unclear if other contaminants were released into the environment, since the impoundment was also used to store fracking wastewater.
This is just another example of why the state should not allow waste pits — period. We know that the wastewater created from fracking is dangerous, consisting of toxic cancer-causing chemicals, poisonous heavy metals and radioactive substances. This impoundment was considered to have a better than average leak detection system, and it still failed. Other states have banned waste pits because of the negative environmental impacts and because of how often they fail. And although cheaper, they’re certainly not industry best-practices.
In 2012, Pennsylvania produced 1.2 billion gallons of fracking wastewater, not something to be proud about. It’s time for the state Department of Environmental Protection to ban these toxic hazards — a crucial step to protect the environment and the citizens of Pennsylvania.
Lafayette Hill, Pa.
The writer is an intern with PennEnvironment.