The Associated Press reported Friday, drilling wastewater has all but stopped going to treatment plants not equipped to properly treat the water, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
In April, DEP requested Marcellus Shale drilling companies to cease deliveries of drilling wastewater by May 19 to treatment plants grandfathered under special provisions of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) standards adopted last year.
The grandfathered treatment plants could not properly treat the drilling wastewater to meet the new TDS standard allowing only partially treated water to be discharged into rivers and streams around the state.“While the prior administration allowed certain facilities to continue to take this wastewater, conditions have changed since the implementation of the TDS regulations,” DEP Secretary Michael Krancer said. “We now have more definitive scientific data, improved technology and increased voluntary wastewater recycling by industry. We used to have 27 grandfathered facilities; but over the last year, many have voluntarily decided to stop taking the wastewater and we are now down to only 15. More than half of those facilities are now up for permit renewal. Now is the time to take action to end this practice.”
A DEP spokesperson said Friday, agency staff have confirmed the flow of millions of gallons of wastewater has been reduced to possibly just a handful of truck deliveries in the past two weeks.