Unmitigated Disaster: A report from the Oil Wastes.
Unedited Media recently spoke about these consequences with Scott Skokos, a field organizer from the Dakota Resource Council. Skokos describes the oil boom as, “ground zero for the battle between agriculture and industry.” He spoke about the illegal dumping of radioactive waste into landfills like found in Williston, North dakota. He explained that “toxic oil industry waste” was appearing dumped across North Dakota. He punctuated his findings with photographs of water contaminated with radioactive material the DRC had measured with a Geiger Counter.
Skokos said we’re surrounded by NORM in low concentration and that these dangerous radioactive materials aren’t really accessible to humans, but become accessible when the oil industry comes in and fracks a well creating waste or TENORM, “Technologically enhanced normally occurring radioactive material”.
The EPA defines TENORM as:
TENORM is material containing radionuclides that are present naturally in rocks, soils, water , and minerals and that have become concentrated and/or exposed to the accessible environment as a result of human activities such as manufacturing, water treatment or mining operations.
The waste is being strewn across North Dakota as oil companies skirt the cost of disposing of these dangerous materials, according to Skokos.
This situation is finally coming to light in North Dakota. Skokos explained that people are realizing what’s happening around them. “Three years ago nobody knew what a frack sock was, or NORM.” Recently five counties banned frack waste sites on their land. Skokos explained that people need to listen to the farmers and ranchers of North Dakota. “They should have a voice in what happens to them.”
Skokos left us with a story of a warehouse with used frack socks piled against the walls.
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