PA DEP Consent Decree Against Waste Treatment’s Warren Plant

A month ago MDN told you a lawsuit had been filed by anti-drilling Clean Water Action (CWA) against the municipal sewage treatment plant in Warren, PA operated by Waste Treatment Corporation. The lawsuit claimed the Warren plant, based on testing of the Allegheny River, continues to process and dump treated frack wastewater into the river (see CWA Sues/Accuses Waste Treatment Corp of Continued Shale Pollution). A day after that story broke, both Waste Treatment and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection responded and said that no, the plant does not and has not treated shale frack wastewater since 2011 (see Waste Treatment, PA DEP Respond to CWA Lawsuit).

However, as we said at the time, the fact that the DEP had also (quietly) filed their own lawsuit against Waste Treatment raises more questions than it answers. We now begin to get some of those answers. Yesterday, the DEP announced a “Proposed Consent Decree” with Waste Treatment that will reduce the amount of total dissolved solids it releases into the Allegheny River. The (important) question remains: If the effluent from the Warren plant is not coming from processing shale fracking wastewater, where is it coming from? What is the source of this super-salty wastewater that’s being processed by this plant?…

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