Western PA rivers show different pollution trends

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 13, 2012 3:59 AM

(Pittsburgh) -- Researchers say high levels of a salty compound that could be linked to oil and gas drilling are persisting in one Pittsburgh-area river, even as they declined in another river nearby.

A Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority report says that high levels of salty bromides are still being detected in the Allegheny River just downstream of industrial brine treatment plants, which accept wastewater from oil and gas drilling and other industrial activities. Other researchers recently found that bromides declined significantly in the Monongahela River after shale gas drillers stopped taking waste to treatment plants there.

Duke University professor Avner Vengosh says preliminary research found a similar problem in a tributary of the Allegheny, but it appears to be from conventional oil or gas wells, not Marcellus Shale wells.

StateImpact Pennsylvania has expanded coverage of possible environmental issues tied to drilling.

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