Patriot Water Decides Not to Build Marcellus Wastewater Treatment Plant in Owego, NY

Last week, Patriot Water LLC withdrew their application to convert a former car dealership on the edge of the Village of Owego, NY (in Tioga County) into a wastewater treatment plant to deal specifically with wastewater from Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania, and from New York, when drilling finally begins there.

Each well drilled in the Marcellus will use approximately 3 million gallons of water during the process of hydro fracturing. Much of that water comes back out of the ground and needs to be treated so it can be re-used in drilling. Some of it will be treated and returned to area waterways, which is no different than the local sewage treatment plant. The fluids entering the environment from any wastewater plant must pass rigid tests to ensure no pollution occurs.

So the news that Patriot Water was planning to build and operate such a plant was good news for the Southern Tier of New York, bringing jobs and tax revenue to Tioga County. But one problem: The proposed site was very close to residential areas. Yes, it is zoned industrial, but it would mean four trucks an hour, 24 hours a day running down residential streets, and local folks didn’t want it. Can’t blame them.

But! Could Tioga County not have come back with a counter offer? Another location nearby that is not close to residential areas? Was there any kind of effort made at all? It appears not. And so, on March 3, Patriot Water said “no thanks” to Owego and Tioga County.

MDN recommends Patriot have a look at nearby Broome County, NY. There’s a couple of industrial parks close to Interstates 81 & 86 (NY Route 17) in the Conklin and Kirkwood areas, and those locations have truck traffic all the time. Perhaps the members of the town planning boards in Broome County will actually show up for meetings (unlike the Tioga County Planning Board, five members of whom abrogated their duties by not showing up for a crucial meeting on the Patriot request). Come on over to Broome, Patriot!

Owego Pennysaver (Mar 3) – Patriot Water, LLC withdraws application for Taylor Road site