Patriot Water Treatment Plant in Owego Gets a Yellow Light

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Feb 17)
Owego wastewater plan hits snag

Patriot Water Treatment wants to build a wastewater treatment plant in Owego, NY. The plant would take in fracking water from drilling operations in the region, treat it, and return the water back to drillers to be used again. According to Andrew Blocksom, of Patriot, the resulting treated water is “cleaner than my tap water.” This new plant will bring 20 fulltime jobs and tax revenues to the community, and is needed for area drillers. But, it also will bring traffic, which is a concern:

Approximately four trucks per hour for 24 hours a day would enter the facility with fracking water. The facility would treat the water, distilling it in a vacuum, and provide distilled water back to trucks to return it to natural gas drilling sites.

Neighbors of the facility and those that live along proposed truck routes voiced concerns about spills and the toxicity of the incoming fracking water.

And this:

“I don’t think 24 hours, seven days a week is reasonable,” Village of Owego Mayor Ed Arrington said. “If there was another way, I wouldn’t oppose it.”

The Tioga County Planning Board was due to make a recommendation on whether or not the Village of Owego Planning Board should accept the plan. Unfortunately, five of the Tioga County Planning Board members were AWOL from the meeting, so the final vote was 5 to 2 to recommend, but not the required 6 affirmative vote minimum that would be needed for an official recommendation. Marcellus Drilling News wants to know why five members were missing from such an important meeting? For or against the facility is not the issue—Planning Board members are supposed to be present and represent the people. This is dereliction of duty in our humble opinion.

No word on who was absent, and no word on what the next step is for Patriot now that it appears the process is stalled.

  • Susan Oliver

    NY is dying for jobs and tax revenue. Nothing is perfect. Anything related to this industry gets scrutinized for the slightest imperfections. Let’s be sensible and reasonable and not let opportunities to turn NY around slip away.

  • Jim

    Thanks for your comment Susan. I agree with your sentiment. Still, if I lived near where trucking would be going 24/7, I have to confess I wouldn’t be happy myself. But, if the area is zoned industrial, I suppose if you live nearby you would expect traffic. It’s a tough one! I can see both sides of this argument. I just don’t want to see Patriot take their business someplace else. Guess we need a bit of Solomon’s wisdom on this one. At the very least, we need board members to show up for meetings!

  • UnifiedConsent

    Mr. Blocksom keeps repeating that the resulting fluid would be cleaner than his tap water. He needs some education about the kind of water human beings need in order to live and it’s definitely not what his proposed plant would produce. The proposed site could have been zoned industrial AFTER the people moved in. Zoning changes happen all the time while people are busy with their lives. Does not make it moral or right. Zone the site back to residential