Energy. Environment. Economy.

Environmentalists Say Oil and Gas Waste Water Still Discharged into Allegheny River

Environmentalists say Waste Treatment Corporation in Warren, Pa.  continues to discharge oil and gas waste water into the Allegheny River.

Courtesy of Clean Water Action

Environmentalists say Waste Treatment Corporation in Warren, Pa. continues to discharge oil and gas waste water into the Allegheny River.

Clean Water Action says the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental of Protection continues to allow oil and gas waste water to be discharged into the Allegheny River.

The environmental group says Waste Treatment Corporation is dumping high levels of chloride, bromide, lithium, strontium, radium-226, and radium-228 into the river without a current permit.

Clean Water Action director Myron Arnowitt says the plant’s discharge of 200,000 gallons of wastewater a day is putting more than 125,000 pounds of salt into the Allegheny River every day. Arnowitt says his organization has taken steps to sue the Waste Treatment Corporation.

“Government agencies have not taken their proper actions to enforce the Clean Water Act, so that’s why we’re doing it,” Arnowitt said, noting that there is now a 60 day window before a federal court could take up the suit. “At a certain point, we couldn’t wait any longer.”

In the legal notice, Clean Water Action cites a 2012 DEP study that found high levels of salts, metals and radioactive compounds in water and sediment downstream from Waste Treatment Corporation’s plant in Warren, Warren County. The facility has been operating under an expired discharge permit from 2003, despite filing with the DEP for renewal in 2008.

DEP spokesperson Lisa Kasianowitz says the agency is not commenting on the pending litigation. When asked whether or not the DEP planned to renew Waste Treatment Corporation’s permit, Kasianowitz says it is still reviewing the case.

Arnowitt from Clean Water Action says he hopes the legal notice will move the DEP to act on a permit that will set limits on what the facility can dump into the Allegheny River.


  • Al

    They did get a permit in 2008–check Pa Bulletin

  • Al

    It was in Pa Bulletin Jan 30, 2010, issued in March 2010

    Northwest Region: Oil
    and Gas Management Program Manager, 230 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA

     PA0102784, Industrial
    Waste. Waste Treatment Corporation,
    P. O. Box 1550, Warren, PA 16365. This existing facility is located in the City
    of Warren, Warren County.

     Description of Proposed Activity: permit renewal for an
    existing discharge of treated industrial waste.

     The receiving water is the Allegheny River. The receiving
    stream is in State Water Plan 16-B and is classified for the following uses:
    warm water fishes, aquatic life, water supply and recreation.

     The proposed effluent limits for Outfall 001 are based on a
    maximum flow of 0.213 MGD.
    I brought this up at several meetings of the Water Resources Advisory Committee meetings. Disc used this issue with EPA Effluent Guidelines staff in Wash DC. Told that discharge was illegal as treatment plant was only allowed to accept wastewater from stripper wells.

  • Julieann Wozniak

    There is a mining company dumping mine wastewater into Dunkard Creek that is laden with high TDS, which ends up in the Mon, our drinking water supply. Dana Mining/Mepco/ their private equity pwners from Massachusetts have been doing this without an NPDES permit for years. PennFutures sues, PADEP does not care. This is Greene County, after all, and unimportant people live here.

  • Al

    Julieann–Mining operations don’t need a separate NPDES permit as their state Mining permit is authorized by Feds to be an NPDEs permit. TDS is not a big issue–if it was, Penn Dot could not put salt on highways; Kosher Poultry operations would shut down; Pharmaceuticals would close; landfills would be out of business. TDS is a fact of life. Read the Pa Bulletin and you’ll find many authorized discharges of high TDS wastewater.

  • Stephanie Palmer

    This is how Corbett and his little minions support the people of PA. There will be another election in November. This all falls on the voters, either how ignorant they are, how misinformed they are, or if they so much as care about themselves, their children, their neighbors, and their communities.

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