WV DEP Study Finds Drilling Cuttings in Landfills are Safe

In 2014 the West Virginia legislature enacted a law that requires the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to conduct a study of the impact from disposing drill cuttings and drilling waste (leftover rock and dirt) from natural gas well sites in landfills. Anti-drillers spin tales of glowing in the dark from irradiation and horrible, cancer-causing, death-inducing chemicals leaking from landfills that accept drill cuttings and drilling waste. So members of the WVDEP and a number of outside researchers from several WV universities worked on this important research project that would, once and for all, evaluate the risk from landfills that accept drill cuttings. In early July the WVDEP released the completed study (full copy below). There have been a precious few media reports about the findings from this momentous research project. Why? Because the study “found little concern” regarding leachate associated with “drill cuttings that were placed in approved and permitted landfills, once that leachate was processed through a correctly operated treatment facility.” That is, there is no issue with accepting drill cuttings in WV landfills–contrary to the blathering of anti-drillers…

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