Western State Regulators Struggling to Keep up With Radioactive Fracking and Drilling Waste

A report looked at rules governing radioactive waste from oil and gas activity in six states and found regulatory frameworks "remain sparse, where they exist at all."

Photo Credit: cigdem/Shutterstock.com


The question of how to handle the toxic waste from fracking and other oil and gas activities is one of the most intractable issues confronting environmental regulators. Not only because of the sheer volume of waste generated nationwide, but also because some of the radioactive materials involved have a half-life of over 1,500 years, making the…

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Sharon Kelly is an attorney and freelance writer who lives in Philadelphia. She has reported for The New York Times, National Wildlife, Earth Island Journal, and a variety of other publications. Prior to beginning freelance writing, she worked as a law clerk for the ACLU of Delaware.