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Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling creates need for wastewater treatment facilities
The boom in drilling for natural gas across northern Pennsylvania has created a potential flood of business for wastewater treatment plants.The state Department of Environmental Protection has received permit applications associated with at least 12 proposed treatment plants that would accept water tainted in the well preparation process.The plants would be located in Lycoming, Clinton, Wyoming, Centre, Tioga, Bradford, and Clearfield counties, according to DEP Bag Prada Original staffers.In many cases, the stations would discharge into a tributary of the Susquehanna River."The water is the issue," said John Minora, a Scranton attorney who works in the drilling water treatment industry. "We are trying to handle it safely and responsibly."A huge supply of natural gas is trapped in the Marcellus Burberry Crossbody Check
the chemicals, and by materials picked up below ground.How to handle the flowback is a major factor in the evolving Marcellus Shale gas industry.Ken Komorowski, an attorney who serves gas industry clients, Burberry Tote Nova Check
Shale layer that runs beneath northern Pennsylvania. Recent advances in technology centered on the use of water have led to the recent boom in well drilling.Millions of gallons of chemical treated water are pumped into a drilled well to fracture or "frack" the shale and release the gas. Much water, called "flowback," returns to the surface. It is tainted by Burberry Handbag Strap
said one approach is to mix flowback with fresh water, and re use it. But, he said, at least one or two treatment plants are likely to be necessary.One "pretreatment" plant that processes flowback and then pipes it to a traditional wastewater treatment plant already is in operation in Williamsport.More than 400 Marcellus Shale gas wells have been drilled this year to date, or more than double last year total of 195.Some estimates put the average amount of treated water pumped down each well at 4 million gallons, with an average of about 800,000 gallons of tainted water returning to the surface at each site.Andrew Joyner, a senior associate at Hershey based ARM Oil and Gas Solutions, said only about six treatment facilities statewide currently accept "frack water" from natural gas wells."There is definitely a need for more capacity for these guys to operate," Joyner said.DEP has held public meetings and collected comments on some of the applications for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.Other permits, issued separately, will be required for any proposed plant to begin operation.Most of the permit applications are in DEP 14 county north central region, which centers on Clinton and Lycoming counties."The north central region is the hot spot," said Mel Zimmerman, a professor of biology at Lycoming College and director of its Clean Water Institute. "They are already drilling a lot now, but over the next number of years we are going to see hundreds and hundreds of wells go in."The flowback may contain dozens of chemicals and compounds, including lead, mercury, methanol, boric acid, and formaldehyde.It is very high in salt content, according to Harry Campbell, senior scientist at the Harrisburg office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation."There are a myriad of concerns about the frack water," he said.A big concern, he said, is that chemicals in the water would kill microbes that are a mainstay in the function of traditional wastewater treatment plants.
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