PA DEP Fines Drill Cuttings Landfill for Contaminated Runoff

Last year a sewage treatment facility in Belle Vernon (Fayette County, PA) claimed the effluent (runoff) it was receiving from a nearby landfill in Westmoreland County contained high levels of salt and radioactivity and was causing damage to their treatment system (see Another Post-Gazette Smear Job: Drill Cuttings Pollute Rivers). The landfill accepts drill cuttings–leftover rock and dirt from drilling holes (not wastewater)–yet the sewage treatment plant with help from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made accusations against the landfill and the shale industry. The state Dept. of Environmental Protection has stepped in and brokered an agreement with the landfill (called a consent order) for the landfill to make certain corrective actions and (of course) pay a $24,000 fine.

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