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Spreading radioactive waste on roads must stop.

If you, like us, were shocked when you first heard that the gas industry spreads their radioactive waste on Pennsylvania’s roads, you will be pleased to hear that advocates have recently notched a few meaningful wins against the practice.

Right now, fracking waste is prohibited from being spread on roads, but a loophole allows the industry to get away with dumping “conventional” well waste, even though it is chemically very similar to fracking waste. The gas industry will promise municipalities that their waste - which contains radium and radon and other dangerous elements - can be used to melt ice or suppress dust. The truth is that it is not effective at either, and the practice is extremely dangerous to residents and workers.

On June 7, our friends at Better Path Coalition succeeded in getting “brine co-product” removed as a legitimate category in the Department of Environmental Protection’s waste reporting system. This will make it much harder, but not quite impossible, for corporations to get away with dumping waste on our roads. Our gratitude to Better Path Coalition for all their work on this!

Then, on June 10, I testified at a hearing in Harrisburg about the problem. Pro-industry legislators were running with the talking point that only Harrisburg and Philadelphia wanted a ban on road spreading of gas waste, and that freedom-loving Western Pennsylvanians supported the practice. I made clear that Protect PT’s members, who are almost all in Western PA, are in fact demanding that our government pass a ban.

On June 11, following my testimony, the PA State House Energy Committee passed the bill out of committee. It has a long way to go before it’s law, but we are thrilled to see so much progress in a few short days.

We’re not going to quit until there is a complete ban, enforced with fines. We’ll keep at it until the job is done.

- Tom Pike

Environmental Policy Advocate, Protect PT

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