Study Confirms Wisdom of Not Dumping Untreated Frack Wastewater

The Elliptio complanate freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment. IMAGE: WESTCOTT PHILLIP / WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Some old news that has become new once again. Prior to 2011, a few Pennsylvania municipal sewage treatment plants accepted untreated frack wastewater, processing it through their systems and releasing it into the environment (rivers and streams). Based on scientific data available at the time, then-Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, Mike Krancer (Republican), stopped the practice (see PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water). Since that time there have been no PA (or any other state) sewage plants accepting frack wastewater. A new study by Penn State now confirms what we pretty much knew then–that aquatic life is affected by dumping untreated frack wastewater into streams and rivers.

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