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Drilling Waste

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Plans scrapped for drilling waste in PA’s Grand Canyon

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY A drill worker covered in mud, shale, and drill cuttings seals off a well and cleans the blowout preventer at a Cabot Oil & Gas natural gas drill site in Kingsley, Pa. A waste disposal company has backed off its controversial plan to use 400,000 tons of natural gas drill cuttings to help [...]

Environmentalists threaten to sue EPA over oil & gas waste-disposal law

Seven environmental groups on Wednesday threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to update a law on the disposal of oil and gas waste to reflect the fracking boom of recent years. The organizations, which include Pennsylvania’s Responsible Drilling Alliance, said they sent an Intent to Sue notice to the EPA [...]

EPA’s waste water treatment rule splits environmentalists, industry

The U.S. EPA’s plan to prevent municipal water treatment plants from accepting fracking waste is being hailed by supporters as a necessary safeguard against the contamination of public water supplies, and attacked by the petroleum industry as a short-sighted measure that ignores its long-term needs and violates the Clean Water Act. As the public-comment period [...]

Project would bring 400,000 tons of drilling waste to Pa.’s ‘Grand Canyon’

As Marcellus Shale gas drilling has proliferated, so has the amount of waste it generates. Last year in Pennsylvania, over two million tons of drill cuttings were sent to landfills. Cuttings are the waste dirt and rock that comes up from drilling wells. The material contains naturally occurring radiation, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals. Over the [...]

Pennsylvania case studies mirror EPA’s national fracking report

A federal investigation into links between fracking and drinking water contamination in Bradford and Susquehanna Counties found some private water wells had been damaged by methane and ethane migration caused by nearby fracking. But the report found no evidence that homeowners’ private water wells and springs had been affected by frack fluids or waste water. In [...]

FracFocus upgrades availability of data on oil & gas operations

A national project that collects and disseminates data about hydraulically fracked U.S. oil and gas wells raised its game on Friday by making the information available in aggregate form for anyone to download. FracFocus, which draws data from most states, including Pennsylvania, that host unconventional oil and gas development, has been gathering information such as [...]

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 [...]

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