Monday, September 23, 2019

Marcellus Shale Coalition Responds To Op-Ed On Road Spreading Of Drilling Wastewater

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents unconventional (Shale gas) drilling companies, had this response to the Op-Ed by Siri Lawson on the road spreading of drilling wastewater--
“Siri Lawson’s recent Op-Ed “Why is the General Assembly About to Hurt Us by Authorizing Road Dumping of Oil and Gas Wastewater” conflates the handling of unconventional and conventional wastewater in a manner that misleads your readers.
“Ms. Lawson infers that unconventional operators began to spread wastewater on roadways for dust suppression in May 2011, one month after the industry voluntarily agreed to no longer treat and discharge unconventional wastewater at public wastewater treatment plants. 
“This simply is not true. Operators looked for other avenues to handle their wastewater; principally through recycling efforts for future natural gas well site use, as well as some disposal at deep-well injection sites. 
“Data indicates that over 90 percent of shale gas wastewater is recycled. However, operators did not – and have not – discharged unconventional wastewater on roadways. Conventional (non-shale) operators had used their wastewater for dust suppression for years, long before 2011.
“Since 1989, Pennsylvania regulations have prohibited the discharge of brine on roadways or into waterways of the Commonwealth, unless approved on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP authorized this practice through the review and approval of a Beneficial Re-Use permit; however, as a practical matter such permits were only issued to conventional operators. 
“This prohibition on using unconventional brine for roadway dust suppression was included in Pennsylvania’s new shale gas regulations adopted in October 2016. It is worth recognizing that this was but a mere formality capturing an existing and long-standing prohibition already in place.”

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