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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Report claims USGS underreporting radon levels in response from pressure from oil and gas industry...

Via SSM

A report from a group called the Radioactive Waste Management Associates (RWMA), which is researching the risk of increased radon pollution in the Marcellus Shale belt.

They found the U.S. Geological Survey appeared to be underreporting radon levels, and there’s evidence that the industry is controlling the location and other details of the test wells.

(Emphasis added)

Why were the USGS measurements so low and at variance with other EPA and USGS studies? Here the story takes an interesting turn. A call to one of the USGS researchers revealed the following: 

In response to a request for the well logs, to examine whether the wells reached the Marcellus shale formation, the USGS researcher said they had none. 

RWMA: Then, can you give us the location of the Pennsylvania wells? With the location, we could find the well logs in Pennsylvania State files. 

USGS : Well, no, that would break the trust with the gas companies that allowed us access. 

RWMA: Okay, then how do you know you reached the Marcellus shale formation? 

USGS : Because we were told so. 

RWMA: Who selected the wells? 

USGS : The US Department of Energy in collaboration with the gas companies. 

RWMA: Did you feel comfortable publishing what are essentially screening results? 

USGS : No, but pressure from higher-ups at USGS forced our hand .

To summarize: The oil and gas industry chose specific wells, in which USGS researchers unsurprisingly measured low radon concentrations and were then pressured by the oil and gas industry to publish these preliminary findings, under the USGS imprimatur. It appears the USGS has been corrupted by the oil and gas industry.
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