Frack Waste Causing Fish Cancer?

The cool, clean headwaters of the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, in the mountainous northern reaches of Pennsylvania and Southern New York, are home to countless species, including birds, reptiles, mammals and aquatic life. Among PA’s wild inhabitants, eagles are the most high-profile, turtles are legendary and trout among the most well loved. Personally, I’m intrigued by the diverse populations of mollusks filtering the fresh water we drink, swim in, and use to grow or food. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to eight of the 297 recognized fresh water mussels species found in North America.

A survey by the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey in 2001 found eight species of freshwater mussels within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. By far the most common and abundant species of mussel here is the eastern elliptio (Elliptio complanata), which accounts for nearly 98% of all the mussels in this section of the Delaware River. The next most abundant species, the alewife floater, only accounts for about 2% of the mussels in the river.

Six of these species are endangered, threatened, or of special concern in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. One of these species, the dwarf wedge mussel (Alasmidonta heterodon), is also federally endangered. Other species of concern include the alewife floater (Anodonta implicata), triangle floater (Alasmidonta undulata), brook floater (Alasmidonta varicosa), and yellow lampmussel (Lampsilis cariosa)”   [Source: Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area]

Black Spots on Zebra Fish, Possible Melanoma

It was recently reported that Zebra fish and Small Mouth Bass in the Susquehanna River are displaying black spots on their bodies. The fish are sick and dying. According to Susan Phillips in Retired Doctor and Fisherman Says Black Spots on Fish Could Be Cancer posted in State Impact/PA on April 16, 2012:

“Sun­bury Gen­er­a­tion plant, one of 15 plants that had been tak­ing frack water, and dump­ing it into the state’s rivers and streams. In one year, between 2009 and 2010, Sun­bury treated 357,000 bar­rels of frack­ing waste water, and dis­charged it into the Susque­hanna River. A year ago, the state asked plants like Sun­bury to stop tak­ing the waste water because the facil­i­ties did not have the capac­ity to prop­erly treat the water.”

Where’s The Fish?

It seems like a matter of Good Science vs. No Science. The PA Department of Environmental Protection may have issued a 2011 ‘cease and desist’ on frack waste deposits in non-permitted, under-equipped treatment facilities, but their jurisdiction shouldn’t end there. DEP needs to test these fish for melanoma and much, much more.

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One Response to “Frack Waste Causing Fish Cancer?”

  1. SWTO SuperPost 05.04.2012 | Says:

    […] BLOGS: Frack Waste Causing Fish Cancer? – […]

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