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DEP Finds No Unsafe Levels of Radioactivity from WV Drilling

By: LAWRENCE MESSINA - Associated Press Writer
By: LAWRENCE MESSINA - Associated Press Writer

West Virginia environmental officials say they've so far found no unsafe levels of radioactivity from drilling in the state's Marcellus shale natural gas field.

Officials with the state's Department of Environmental Protection also told lawmakers Tuesday that they're just starting to develop a process for testing radiation levels. But they say neighboring Pennsylvania may have more of an issue with radioactivity because of differences in geology.

Top DEP officials addressed an interim meeting of a House-Senate committee.

They also said that they've not confirmed any cases of well water contaminated by hydraulic fracturing. Also called fracking, that's when a high-volume mix of water and chemicals is pumped into a well to extract gas.

West Virginia has yet to enact new rules to oversee Marcellus drilling or fracking.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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