A Balanced View of Waste Water Treatment from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Towanda Daily Review (Nov 18):
Treatment plant for gas drilling waste water subject of Athens Twp. hearing tonight

An informative article about the waste water treatment plants proposed for northeastern Pennsylvania. Some tidbits from the article:

The North Central Regional Office of the DEP, which serves Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union counties, has received 10 applications for NPDES permits, according to spokesman Dan Spadoni. Of those 10 applications, four are for plants proposed on the west branch of the Susquehanna River, one is for the Somerset plant on the Chemung River, one is proposed on the Tioga River, and the remainder are for various creeks and streams, he said.

Somerset Regional Water Resources is requesting a discharge permit for around a million gallons a day, which makes it the largest in the North Central Region, Spadoni said. The other proposed plants are requesting permits for between 50,000 to 500,000 gallons per day, he said.

The article discusses naturally occuring radioactive substances that might be concentrated in waste water, and how the plants would deal with it. The article also points out the plan is for the plants to recycle and re-use most of the water for other shale drilling instead of discharging it all into the environment. However, there will necessarily be some water discharged into tributaries and streams.

I found this article very enlightening and balanced in its coverage–a good read for landowners and other interested parties.