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Regulators outpaced by gas industry waste, report says

Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators are failing to keep pace with a growing volume of liquid and solid waste generated by the natural gas industry, and are allowing risky practices like open-air waste storage to continue, according to a study issued on Thursday. The report by Earthworks, a nonprofit that highlights the adverse effects of mineral and [...]

Study: Radioactive gas drilling waste not a threat to public health

A Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection study looking at radiation exposure from oil and gas development says there is “little potential for harm to workers or the public.” DEP released the peer-reviewed report Thursday, which Governor Corbett initiated in January 2013. DEP hired PermaFix, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in nuclear and industrial waste disposal, [...]

Indiana County township claims ecosystem has legal rights

A battle over personhood is brewing in the tiny rural community of Grant Township in western Pennsylvania’s Indiana County. And that fight is now in the courts, where a federal judge will have to decide whether the “personhood” of an ecosystem trumps the “personhood” of a corporation. Back in June, Grant Township banned frack water [...]

Study: Treated fracking wastewater could still threaten drinking water

A new study shows how treated wastewater from oil and gas operations, when discharged into rivers and streams that travel toward drinking water intakes, can produce dangerous toxins. The research confirms what scientists have been warning about for some time. The high concentrations of salty brine, which flows up from deep underground once a well [...]

Report: drilling waste records don’t add up

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers have under-reported the amount of waste they send to landfills. The paper analyzed records of nine landfills in the southwestern part of the state and found they reported three to four times the amount of waste that drillers claimed to have dropped off. The paper [...]

Attorney General files criminal charges against Marcellus Shale waste hauler

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane has filed 64 criminal charges against the owner of a Northumberland County company that hauls waste and equipment for the natural gas industry. The extensive list of charges against Milton-based Minuteman include multiple counts of fraud and criminal conspiracy related to illegal dumping and overbilling major natural gas companies. The [...]

Drillers, Pa. DEP look at recycling drill cuttings

Many drillers are already recycling the wastewater that flows back to the surface after fracking a well. Now, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA) wants the state Department of Environmental Protection to allow companies to reuse drill cuttings – rocks and dirt that are pried loose when a well [...]

EPA approves waste disposal well in Clearfield County

Federal environmental regulators issued a permit on Friday for an underground injection well in Clearfield County that will be used to dispose of oil and gas waste liquids. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the permit for Windfall Oil and Gas of Falls Creek, Pa. to build and operate a disposal well in Brady Township. The [...]

Coast Guard would require testing before allowing fracking wastewater on barges

Demand from natural gas drillers has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to propose allowing fracking wastewater to be transported on barges. But under the proposal, the Coast Guard won’t allow it unless they know what’s in it. Many operators recycle wastewater and store it on site, while much of it gets shipped on trucks and rail cars [...]

Coast Guard plans would allow transport of fracking wastewater on barges

The United States Coast Guard has a proposal to allow shale gas drillers to transport fracking waste water on barges. From the Pittsburgh Times Tribune: The Coast Guard did not cite environmental risks in its policy proposal but focused on the threat to barge workers. It may allow barge transport if companies analyze the chemicals [...]

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