Energy. Environment. Economy.

EPA approves fracking wastewater well in Elk County

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has approved an application by Seneca Resources to operate a deep injection disposal well in Elk County.

The oil and gas industry uses these deep injection wells to dispose of wastewater, which has a high salt content, as well as chemicals, heavy metals, and naturally occurring radioactive material.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

The EPA has permitted 30,000 Class II injection wells for drilling brine and wastewater disposal nationally — about a third of those in Texas — but the Seneca disposal well is just the ninth such well approved in Pennsylvania.

[Karen Johnson, chief of the EPA Region III groundwater and enforcement branch]
said more are in the offing for the state, including three more new disposal wells that could receive federal permits as early as this summer.

“We continue to have frequent meetings with [gas well] operators and a number of additional permits are under review,” she said. “Independent companies and big operators are all saying they are going to need more capacity for disposal.”



  • Victoria Switzer

    I was told by DEP that PA does not support the geology for these wells. Funny how the REPUBLICANS can rewrite science!

    • KeepTapWaterSafe

      Former DEP Sec. Krancer once stated that Pennsylvania is all out of “suitable sites” for deep waste disposal – and he repeatedly insisted that the state knows a whole lot more about regulating the gas industry than the feds. apparently, they rewrite their own positions, too! #frackingmess

    • rickw

      LOL-USEPA administration is Democrats, not a state permit. Obama’s folks.

  • Buhl Marsha Buhl

    Seneca Resources did get their permit for a class 11-D injection Well #382886 in Elk county PA. for the purpose of disposing of produced fluids associated with oil or gas production. Due to the close proximity of the well to our public drinking water supply, and any water supply,we the people of Elk county and others feel there’s is a real possibility that our water source could be contaminated and health and safety of our community will be at risk! Last year Highland Township of Elk co. established a Bill of Rights Ordinance No.1-9-2013. Wednesday,February 12,2014 at 7pm there will be a township Meeting in James City at our township building. The ordinance we have is different then a regular ordinance,it is a Bill of Rights Ordinance. We the people of United States need to start protecting our rights that were fought so hard for. All people of United States have the right to clean air and water. The Declaration of Independence’s declaration that the governments are instituted to secure the rights of the people, and the Pennsylvania Constitution’s recognition that “All power is inherent in the people” and Article 1 section 27 which guarantees the people have the right to Clean Air, Pure Water, and the Preservation of the Natural, Scenic, Historic and Esthetic Values of the Environment! You are invited to come and join us at the meeting and help support our fight to up hold our ordinance. Thank-you Marsha

  • Don Williams

    Although the O&G industry and their allies would like you to believe otherwise, there is no such thing as an unfractured/impermeable cap layer of bedrock that will stop the fluids they are injecting underground from migrating.

    I hope the February 12th meeting in James City is packed to the rafters! Good luck, Marsha!

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