MDN In-depth: Marcellus Wastewater Discharges via Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants into PA Waterways

A number of stories have circulated since last week when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) asked Marcellus Shale drillers to voluntarily (or else) stop using municipal sewage treatment plants by May 19 to treat and release drilling wastewater into PA’s rivers and streams (read MDN’s story here). One of the latest articles is (gasp) a pretty balanced article from the Associated Press, so let’s give credit where credit is due since MDN has previously stated almost all of AP’s reporting on the drilling industry is skewed against it.

Below is a list of things we learn from the most recent AP missive, along with MDN’s thoughts. First the background and history, then an examination of the chemistry, and finally what changed the drilling industry’s collective mind about this issue, including who the “real” culprit in all of this may be.

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