Talking about this front-page hackjob:
A much-repeated shock stat (even Rod Adams is repeating it) is this bit about deadly invisible radiation:
The level of radioactivity in the wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water. While people clearly do not drink drilling wastewater, the reason to use the drinking-water standard for comparison is that there is no comprehensive federal standard for what constitutes safe levels of radioactivity in drilling wastewater. [Specious nonsense. --uvdiv]
Drillers trucked at least half of this waste to public sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania in 2008 and 2009, according to state officials. Some of it has been sent to other states, including New York and West Virginia.
Yet sewage treatment plant operators say they are far less capable of removing radioactive contaminants than most other toxic substances. Indeed, most of these facilities cannot remove enough of the radioactive material to meet federal drinking-water standards before discharging the wastewater into rivers, sometimes just miles upstream from drinking-water intake plants.
What's going on is simple. They are pulling up wastewater from fracking wells, which has dissolved minerals from surrounding shale rock, including radium. Radium is of course a trace mineral, and there's no selectivity for it in fracking fluids that I'm aware of (if there is, please correct me). So why is the concentration comparatively high? Easy: because it's a highly concentrated brine.
(Page 406; this is from one of their leaked EPA documents. The slides start on page 391). So in pre-treatment wastewater we see up to 16,030 pCi/L of Ra-226, which is 3,000 times the EPA standard for drinking water. And we also see up to 428,000 ppm total dissolved solids, or 43% (!), mostly salt. It's not a stretch that these top concentrations occur in the sample samples, and for the same reason: you concentrate salt, you concentrate all the trace impurities in the salt.
Of course this wastewater is extremely dangerous to drink. It is 43% salt. It will kill you in minutes.
I'll repeat the stunningly stupid part where the Times tries to justify assessing 43% brine by drinking water standards:
While people clearly do not drink drilling wastewater, the reason to use the drinking-water standard for comparison is that there is no comprehensive federal standard for what constitutes safe levels of radioactivity in drilling wastewater
Indeed, there are no comprehensive federal standards for assessing the safety of drinking concentrated brine.
Some further thoughts.
Atomic Insights goes into the differences between tritium and radium, with the point of suggesting radium contamination is worse beacuse it is more toxic. I think this is mistaken. What matters is dose; and we're already normalizing for the toxicity differences. E.g. radium is an alpha emitter and has much longer biological residence (remains in bones for decades, compared to tritium being excreted with a 1-week half life). This is already accounted for in the EPA standards which every discussion seems to use as the reference point: tritium concentration standards are 4,000x higher than radium's, reflecting the relative toxicity. For tritium the level is the one derived from an effective dose limit of 4 mrem/year , which is currently defined  as 20,000 pCi/L (although this is not accurate); for Ra-226 and Ra-228 the limit is 5 pCi/L .
According to , the 50-year CEDE (committed effetive dose equivalent) of Ra-226, by ingestion, is 4 mrem from 0.64 pCi/L drinking water, or 31 mrem at the 5 pCi/L regulatory level. (Note this is over 50 years, not an annual figure like tritium).