Fracking waste disposed in landfills is a huge issue. It is already a proven fact that fracking waste is radioactive. The wastes are regulated in many places due to the high level of radioactivity. Disposing fracking waste in regular landfills is illegal in many states. In spite of this, illegal disposal of millions of pounds of fracking waste at regular landfills occurs.
The danger to the public comes from several issues.
The radiation will leak through the landfill in the liquid. All landfills leak allowing radioactive liquid waste to seep into the ground under the landfill and contaminate the groundwater in the area.
The radiation that is contained in the leachate the landfill collects will contaminate anyplace the leachate is disposed of. In many cases the leachate is taken to the municipal sewage plant to dispose. The problem is the treatment plant is not equipped nor able to remove the radiation. It simply passes through the plant and pours out the other end into whatever body of water is used for the disposal. The radiation also will sometimes kill the beneficial bacteria at the sewage treatment rendering the plant less effective at treating the sewage.
Why would a landfill accept fracking waste if it causes all these issues? Money, money, money. In Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, it just cost one of these landfills $59,000 for violations related to the fracking waste they accept. Small change in comparison the the huge dollars they bring in for the waste. The neighbors of the landfill are being placed at risk because of this situation.