The future of wastewater treatment plant in Warren (Trumbull County), Ohio that handles fracking wastewater from Marcellus Shale drilling is now in doubt. The state attorney general has ruled that the permit granted to the Patriot Water Treatment plant in Warren was granted illegally.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has ruled that permits issued to the City of Warren and Patriot Water Treatment to process brine water from gas and oil wells were not issued legally.
Scott Nally, Ohio’s current EPA director, maintains that wastewater treatment plants need certified innovative technology to treat brine and other fracking fluids and that the Patriot Water plant does not employ such technology.
It is not yet clear how DeWine’s ruling will affect Patriot’s treatment of wastewater from the Marcellus shale drilling. EPA spokesman Chris Abbruzzese said DeWine’s ruling was made as a declaration of error on behalf of the EPA.
The attorney general has asked the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC) to dismiss appeals by Patriot and return the permits to Nally for further action. Patriot had appealed to ERAC asking the commission to increase its capacity allowing the facility to take more than its permitted 100,000 gallons of brine wastewater a day.*
Where does Patriot go from here? If they want to keep accepting wastewater from shale drilling, it appears they will need to upgrade the technology at the Warren plant.
*Warren Tribune Chronicle (Nov 1, 2011) – Treatment permits were illegal