March 9, 2011 |
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's statistics on Marcellus Shale natural gas activity contain serious flaws and inconsistencies, and do not accurately report the volume of wastewater being reused in the industry's much-touted recycling efforts. The DEP's most recent statewide statistics on wastewater production overstate by nearly two times the amount of wastewater produced during the last six months of 2010 largely because one the 39 operators who filed reports last month inadvertently entered the wrong data in its forms.
March 8, 2011 |
About a week after news reports indicated that radioactive wastewater from natural gas drilling may be entering some public water supplies in Pennsylvania, state officials announced test results showing that radiation levels in seven streams near drilling sites were normal or below normal. The Department of Environmental Protection tested seven streams in western and north-central Pennsylvania, taking samples downstream of wastewater-treatment plants and upstream of drinking-water intakes.
January 20, 2011 |
The U.S. Attorney's Office on Wednesday charged a Marcus Hook chemical company with violating the Clean Water Act for discharging tainted water into the Marcus Hook Creek, a tributary to the Delaware. Employees of Chemical Equipment Labs Inc., on Walnut Street, routinely rinsed plastic containers that had previously held chemicals, then discharged the wastewater into a drain in a bathroom that led to the sewer system, according to a federal criminal complaint. The company sells and distributes chemicals, including pool chemicals, ice-melting products, and oil absorbents.
January 5, 2011
Gov.-elect Tom Corbett doesn't need to look very far to find important reasons to monitor natural-gas drillers with vigilance. The incoming governor received large campaign donations from the industry, and ran on a promise not to impose a production tax on drillers. For the sake of public health, however, Corbett needs to show he takes tough regulation of his friends seriously. At least 3.6 million barrels of polluted drilling water were sent to treatment plants that empty into rivers during the year that ended June 30, an Associated Press review of state records found.
January 5, 2011 |
Regulators ordered a Montgomery County wastewater-treatment operation last year to halt accepting liquids from a Marcellus Shale natural gas driller after discovering that hundreds of truckloads had been improperly imported into the Delaware watershed. The Delaware River Basin Commission, after learning that 1.8 million gallons of wastewater had been trucked to Hatfield Township, ordered a private industrial treatment facility and the Hatfield Township Municipal Authority to cease accepting the fluids from northern Pennsylvania.
October 7, 2010
HARRISBURG - A Pennsylvania State Police crackdown last week on commercial vehicles hauling wastewater from Marcellus Shale gas-drilling sites resulted in hundreds of citations and 208 trucks taken off the road. Police on Wednesday announced the result of a three-day enforcement effort that was focused on Bradford, Clearfield, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Washington Counties. Troopers issued 959 citations, most commonly for violations related to brakes, lights, or permits. Sixty-four drivers were placed out of service.
September 28, 2010 |
Bristol Township, whose beleaguered waste-treatment works have resulted in two criminal convictions and ongoing allegations of illegal wastewater and sewage discharges, reached a settlement Monday with federal and state authorities. The township will pay $226,000 in fines for violations dating back to 2006. It also agreed to a consent decree requiring improvements to the operation and management of its treatment works. Federal and state authorities had accused the township of repeated violations of federal and state clean-water laws since December 2006.
September 16, 2010 |
YORK, Pa. - The latest substance from the York sewage treatment plant isn't stinky sludge or bubbly wastewater. It's little white pellets, about the size of small seeds. And they promise not only environmental benefit but real money. The pellets are fertilizer, and a formulation that incorporates them, produced by an Allentown company, is being tested at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. The pellets are also being touted as a way for the plant to meet stricter environmental limits for discharge into nearby Codorus Creek - and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay, which suffers from an excess of nutrients.
August 17, 2010
A company drilling in the Marcellus Shale region in southwest Pennsylvania has been fined $97,350 for allowing "fracking" wastewater to overflow a pit and contaminate a watershed in Hopewell Township, Washington County. The state Department of Environmental Protection said that Atlas Resources L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Energy Inc., based in Moon Township, Allegheny County, corrected the problem once it was discovered. The wastewater was a by-product of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," during which millions of gallons of high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals are injected into a well to shatter the shale to release trapped natural gas. In this case, the state said in a release, an unknown amount of water overflowed and ran into a tributary of Dunkle Run. The problem was discovered Dec. 5 and 6. The company said that a water pump owned and operated by a contractor had activated improperly, and that the discharge consisted of about 90 percent fresh water and 10 recycled flowback water.