PA DEP Fines Landfill (with Drill Cuttings) 2nd Time – $59K

The Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill in Westmoreland County, PA (southwestern corner of the state, near Pittsburgh) was fined $24,000 earlier this year (see PA DEP Fines Drill Cuttings Landfill for Contaminated Runoff). The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) claimed effluent from the landfill, because the landfill accepts shale drill cuttings, had damaged a water treatment system in a nearby municipality. The DEP is back to shake down the landfill again, this time assessing a $59,000 fine.
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Sierra Club Loses Court Case to Block Drill Cuttings in NY Landfill

In February MDN told you about an effort by the radicalized Sierra Club to block a New York landfill from accepting drill cuttings from the Pennsylvania Marcellus (see Antis Fabricate Data in Attempt to Block NY Landfill Expansion). The Clubbers fabricated (made up, lied about) data, trying to use this new made-up data in a court case aimed at stopping the C&D Hakes Landfill in Painted Post, NY (near Elmira, located in Steuben County) from accepting PA drill cuttings. The judge has just ruled in the case–against the Clubbers.
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Fed Grand Jury Indicts Owner of Co. Dumping M-U Frack Waste in KY

In March 2016, MDN reported that 47 dumpsters full of concentrated frack waste from OH, PA and WV was illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill in Estill County, KY (see Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill). The cuttings were buried between July and November in 2015, near as anyone can tell. Earlier this week a federal grand jury in Kentucky indicted the former owner of the company doing the dumping on five counts of mail fraud and 22 counts of violating the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
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NY Officially Closed for Business – New Law Bans PA Drill Cuttings

Each day New York State becomes more like a third world, tinhorn dictatorship. High and Supreme Lord Andrew Cuomo (governor and dictator of NY) has issued edicts to *permanently* ban all fracking in the state. The suckup legislature dutifully obliged (see Cuomo PERMANENTLY Bans NY Fracking in Now-Adopted Budget). Lord Cuomo has also banned all new “fossil fuel” pipeline construction in the state. There has been one very minor way NY still participated in the shale revolution…
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WV Marcellus/Utica Waste Processor SECUR Files for Bankruptcy

SECUR O&G, LLC is headquartered in Sewickley, PA, but its main operation, a Marcellus/Utica waste processing center, is located in the Bens Run Industrial Park in Friendly (Tyler County), WV. SECUR processes both liquid and solid drilling waste and handles TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material) at its Bens Run facility. Last Friday SECUR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of WV.
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Biased Post-Gazette Attacks SWPA Shale Cuttings Landfill…Again

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). The sewage treatment plant with help from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made accusations against the landfill and the shale industry. The same biased Post-Gazette “reporter” is back with another round of accusations against the landfill, aimed at scaring nearby residents.
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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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NY DEC Approves Landfill Expansion to Accept More PA Drill Cuttings

Location of C&D Hakes Landfill (click for larger version)

This no longer qualifies as a minor miracle, it’s a MAJOR miracle. The Cuomo-corrupted New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has just approved the only remaining way NY benefits from the Marcellus–by allowing a landfill in Steuben County to expand so it can accept more drill cuttings from PA Marcellus drillers.
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PA DEP Seeks Comment on Draft Radiation Monitoring Regs for Shale

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has drafted up new “technical guidance” on “radioactivity monitoring at solid waste processing and disposal facilities” specifically targeted at the shale industry. Translation: new regulations for how dumps (and drillers) monitor and report on radioactivity levels from incoming loads of drill cuttings. The DEP has posted their proposed new guidance document for public comment, after which they will adopt the new regs.
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PA’s Out-of-Control AG to Investigate Landfill Effluent as “Crime”

The smear job Pittsburgh Post-Gazette propagandists Don Hopey and David Templeton began last week continues this week–an attempt to connect drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt from drilling a hole in the ground) to “toxic” chemicals coming from a landfill in Westmoreland County where the drill cuttings are less than half of the dumped waste. The effluent–runoff from the landfill–is piped to a nearby sewage treatment facility in Belle Vernon for processing and discharge into the Mon River.
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Radical Green Groups Try to Block NY Marcellus Landfill Expansion

drill cuttings

New York benefits from the PA Marcellus in a very minor way–we sell a few hotel rooms, and a few restaurant meals to workers passing through. About the only way we tangibly benefit from PA shale is by accepting drilling cuttings in a few of our landfills. Yet antis want to take that away too.
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New WV Facility Opens to Handle Radioactive M-U Waste

SECUR, a privately owned company headquartered in Pittsburgh that (among other things) cleans up radioactive waste from shale drilling, has just opened a new 10-acre branch facility in Tyler County, WV to do just that–to clean up NORM (naturally occurring radioactive materials) and TENORM (technically-enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material). The facility cleans up both liquids (wastewater) and solids (drill cuttings) that contain a tiny bit of radiation in them, making them suitable for safe disposal. No, there is no permanent storage at the facility–the site, located in Friendly, WV, is only used to clean up the stuff coming in. SECUR then repackages the material and sends it back out to licensed disposal facilities. And did we mention…SECUR is a woman-owned, small business? Nice. Here’s the good news of yet more jobs and an essential service have come to the WV part of the Marcellus/Utica…
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Whatever Happened to Illegally Dumped Frack Waste in KY Landfill?

Click image for larger version

In March 2016, MDN reported that 47 dumpsters full of concentrated frack waste from OH, PA and WV was illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill in Estill County, KY (see Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill). The cuttings were buried between July and November in 2015, near as anyone can tell. The landfill sits across the road from a school. Normal frack waste has extremely low (usually no) radioactivity. But when drill cuttings are further processed and concentrated, as was the case with this series of loads, the naturally occurring radiation present can become more concentrated. Fortunately there’s no indication of a problem at the landfill: no indication that it’s leaking radioactivity into the water table, etc. But parents and residents were rightly up in arms (see Local Residents Demand KY Landfill Accepting Frack Waste Close). We last provided an update on this situation in July 2017 (see Update on Illegally Dumped Frack Waste in Kentucky Landfills). What’s happened since then? Not much. The radioactive waste is still there, buried. Still no signs of any leakage or problems. The landfill owners were fined and are required to create a mitigation plan. State officials want to keep the waste right where it is–best not to disturb it. But some locals want it dug up and moved–to somewhere/anywhere else. Here’s the latest on the “hot mess” in Estill County’s landfill…
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Antero Agrees to Add Monitoring Near New Frack Waste Landfill

By our reckoning, Antero Resources’ $275 million wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, WV is now operational (see Antero’s $275M WV Wastewater Recycling Facility Ready to Launch). In 2015 Antero hired Veolia Water Technologies Inc. to build a new shale wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County (see Antero Building New 60K Bbl Wastewater Recycling Facility in WV). The facility, called the Clearwater Facility, can process up to 60,000 barrels of wastewater per day, separating water, salt and radioactive particles. The salt can be sold to municipalities for use as road salt–but frankly there’s not enough of a market to sell it all. And not all of it will be of sufficient quality to be sold that way. So Antero also spent $20 million to build a landfill next to the plant for the salt (see Update on Antero’s $275M Wastewater Facility in WV). In a move we were previously unaware of, a pair of Big Green groups–West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy–made a fuss about the landfill. They filed an appeal with the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board back in May challenging the permit allowing the landfill to get built. Antero has just settled the matter by signing an agreement to conduct additional surface water monitoring at and near the landfill site…
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Smith Twp Votes Down Plan to Expand MAX Bulger Marcellus Landfill

In a disappointing development, the supervisors of Smith Township (Washington County), PA have voted to turn down MAX Environmental’s request to expand the Bulger landfill they operate in the town (see Marcellus Landfill in Washington Co. Seeks to Expand, Add TENORM). One of the primary customers for the landfill over the past 10 years has been the Marcellus industry–dumping drill cuttings (leftover dirt and rock from drilling) at the landfill. MAX intends to ask the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection for a permit to expand the Bulger facility by 21 acres. They also want to begin accepting technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials, or TENORM, from shale drillers. The first stop is, however, is to get local approval. The DEP wants to see local approval before they consider a state approval. Until now, the word coming from the supervisors is that they were duty-bound to approve the request, as long as “reasonable conditions” were made in the request. The town held several public hearings about the project. Apparently some local loudmouths got to the supervisors and spooked them. At a meeting last Thursday night the supervisors voted 3-0 against approving the request. MAX said they will wait to get the official document, expected today, before deciding on whether or not to litigate (an almost certainty)…
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