Ohio Startup Plans to Convert Utica Drill Cuttings into Clean Fill

energreen360enerGREEN360, a young Ohio company that cleans up material heading to landfills so it can get re-used instead, has a plan to clean drill cuttings from Utica drilling to reuse those cuttings as clean fill on brownfield sites. The company has its sights set on an industrial park south of Cambridge, OH as its first location to dump the treated drill cuttings. Everyone wins in this instance–less material filling up local landfills, fill needed at the industrial park, the cuttings get treated before being used (minimizing any potential exposure risks). The only ones who lose are radical environmentalists, who will try their best to demagogue this plan, painting it as unsafe and harmful to locals who live and work in the area. The only problem for enerGREEN360 is that the Guernsey County Board of Supervisors is unanimously opposed to the plan (see Guernsey County, OH Opposes Facility to Treat/Store Drill Cuttings)…
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Antero Responds to Critics of New WV Wastewater Facility

antero resourcesTwo weeks ago MDN provided an update on the new Antero state-of-the-art frack wastewater treatment plant and landfill being built in West Virginia (see Update on Antero’s $275M Wastewater Facility in WV). Once built, this new plant will recycle 98% of the water used, for re-use by Antero in its fracking and drilling operations. According to Antero’s regional senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Al Shopp, although it may be cheaper to just inject the wastewater down an injection well somewhere, the more environmentally friendly, long-term solution is to do what they are doing–recycle it all. You might think that would please environmental Nazis–but you would be wrong. They want zero drilling and anything, including a better way to handle wastewater, will lead to more drilling and therefore is opposed by these nutters. Al Shopp responds to some of their nonsensical arguments against the new plant…
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Drill Cuttings Used to Build New Road in Lycoming County, PA

drill cuttingsImagine this: a backhoe sinks its bucket into the ground, scoops out some dirt, and the dirt is used to build a road. No big deal. Now imagine this, a very long drill goes down into the earth and digs out dirt. Because the dirt comes from deep down, some of it may be mixed with minerals not found near the surface, so a company processes the deep down dirt to remove any extra minerals, and the dirt is then essentially the same chemical composition as the dirt from near the surface–and it’s used to build a road. The dirt from deep down is called drill cuttings. Environmental Nazis repeat the magical incantation, “It’s been fracked!” and therefore they begin to hyperventilate that “fracked waste” is being used to build a road. Our example illustrates antis’ intellectual dishonesty about what drill cuttings are. When we spotted a story that a private hunting club in Lycoming County (Williamsport area) in PA will build a new road using processed drill cuttings, and the spin job done by the anti-drilling shills at the taxpayer-funded PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania, we had to laugh…
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Guernsey County, OH Opposes Facility to Treat/Store Drill Cuttings

Guernsey County, OH
Guernsey County, OH

EnerGreen 360 wants to build a facility in Guernsey County, OH to treat and re-use drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt from shale drilling). The plan is to clean up the cuttings and use the leftover leftovers (rock and dirt) to backfill part of a business center were the facility would be located–near Cambridge, OH. But County Commissioners are unanimously against the plan, saying that although Guernsey sees a lot of Utica drilling, producing lots of drill cuttings, the county already absorbs “more than our share of frack-related waste.” The commissioners cite multiple injection wells in the county as being evidence of shouldering more than their fair share of the burden. So apparently the commissioners want some other county to take Guernsey’s drill cuttings instead, since Guernsey takes other counties’ shale wastewater. Fair? Not fair? You decide…
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Update on Illegally Dumped Frack Waste in Kentucky Landfills

Estill County, KYIn March 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 last July and November, near as anyone can tell. The landfill sits across the road from a school. Normal frack waste has extremely low (usually no) kind of 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). The hunt has been on to track down the perpetrator–but apparently he’s hard to find and not long after the story broke, he shut down the company’s website and changed the address of the company to a public library address. Yeah, something is fishy…
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PA DEP Won’t Renew Permits that Allow Drill Cuttings to be Reused

A few years ago (not sure exactly when) three companies were issued permits by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to reuse drill cuttings–leftover rock and dirt that come out of a borehole–on construction sites. The three companies were issued the permits on an experimental basis. The permits will expire March 1, 2017. Even though DEP officials openly state, on the record, that “drill cuttings aren’t dangerous,” the DEP has indicated they will not renew the permits after they expire. However, the DEP appears to leave the door open to issuing more permits in the future, once they make a final determination after reviewing the results from these three companies. Who are the companies that were issued permits?…
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Local Residents Demand KY Landfill Accepting Frack Waste Close

On Tuesday MDN told you about Marcellus and Utica Shale waste (concentrated drill cuttings) that were illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill (see Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill). We have an update. Tuesday night a crowd of 300+ local residents, up in arms over the possibility of high levels of radiation that might potentially leak from the landfill, which sits across the street from a school, called on local officials to shut down the landfill. Although the local officials didn’t take action at the meeting, they did say they have “no problem” shutting it down if it’s found there was foreknowledge they accepted the waste. The operator of the landfill, Advance Disposal, claims they were lied to about what was in the loads they accepted. In other words, the fingers have come out and are all pointing at the other party…
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Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill

illegalSeems to us like folks in Kentucky swing more to the liberal side of the isle when it comes to opposing natural gas drilling and pipelines. Just our observation over time. We think they overreact to anything related to fracking and gas drilling. However, in this case, we don’t think they’re overreacting. It appears that 47 dumpsters full of concentrated frack waste from OH, PA and WV was illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill in Estill County, KY. They were buried between last July and November, near as anyone can tell. And the landfill sits across the road from a school. Normal frack waste has extremely low (usually no) kind of 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. There’s no indication of a problem at the landfill…no indication that it’s leaking radioactivity into the water table, etc. Radiation levels are being monitored and do not show anything above normal background levels. But still, somebody somewhere should have known this was happening. Local residents have a right to be up in arms over not being told…
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Antero Plans Salt Landfill Next to Proposed Wastewater Recycling Plant

In August of last year, MDN told you that one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, Antero Resources, floated the idea of building a $275 million state-of-the-art frack wastewater treatment plant in Doddridge County, WV (see Antero Building New 60K Bbl Wastewater Recycling Facility in WV). The new plant, which will process 60,000 barrels of wastewater per day, will save Antero $150,000 per well in completion costs once it’s up and running. Antero tapped French company Veolia to engineer and build the plant (see French Company Confirms Building $275M Wastewater Plant for Antero). The plant will go online in late 2017. The new news is that last week Antero filed for a permit to build a landfill next to the wastewater plant. The wastewater plant will separate 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 needs a place to dispose of it–hence the $20 million landfill proposal…
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Scranton Landfill Expansion Decision May Rest on Fees Paid to DEP

government shakedownThe Keystone Sanitary Landfill is Pennsylvania’s third busiest landfill–located on the outskirts of Scranton. The Keystone Landfill accepts drill cuttings from Marcellus drilling. Last year Keystone applied for a permit to expand the landfill once again–but instead of outward, they want to expand it upward, making it higher, to gain more capacity. At present about 10% of the incoming waste stream at the landfill is shale waste. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had, as of last summer, delayed granting the expansion request pending more study (see DEP Delays Scranton Landfill Expansion; Requires Study). As of April, the DEP was still studying Keystone’s proposal (see DEP Still Studying Keystone Landfill Expansion, Plans 2nd Hearing). Finally there’s been some “progress” on the issue. The DEP provided feedback to Keystone on which benefits in their application they would consider in making a decision, and which they would not. Among the benefits they won’t consider is a donation to help restore the nearby Eddy Creek (destroyed by coal mining in the area). Among the benefits they will consider? Money paid to the DEP…
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Enviro Groups File Lawsuit Against EPA to Force O&G Waste Regs

Sue and SettleThe legal beagles at energy law firm Babst Calland are raising the alert that another “sue and settle” lawsuit has been filed against the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by seven radical environmental groups. This is the latest attempt at forcing the EPA to comply with a lawsuit that they intentionally lose. What? Yes, they intentionally lose the lawsuit and then tell Congress that they “have to” comply with a court order “forcing” them to enact certain unlegislated rules and regulations in order to comply with a judge’s order–in effect giving them one more weapon in their arsenal to illegally regulate the oil and gas industry. Regulation of oil and gas is Constitutionally left up to the individual states. The EPA, especially under Obama, has been innovating ways to circumvent the Constitution and Congress and cease regulation authority. So-called “sue and settle” lawsuits are one of the ways they do it. Here comes another one. This time radical environmental groups (which should be sued themselves) have sued the EPA to force them to regular oil and gas drilling wastes under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Here’s a summary of what’s happening…
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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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Fracsandphobia for Some Who Live Near Keystone Sanitary Landfill

People are phobic (fearful) of the darnedest things. Some people are afraid of germs (germophobia). Some are afraid of spiders (arachnophobia). Some are even afraid of furry little kitty cats (ailurophobia). Seems that all of us have one phobia or another. Some folks who live near the Keystone Sanitary Landfill outside of Scranton, PA have a phobia over sand that may be hauled to the facility (an irrational fear of sand is eremikophobia). Because Keystone accepts drill cuttings and has, in the past, also been permitted to accept frac sand waste from drilling operations, some people who live in the area are afraid. Of what? That the sand may contain nasty fracking chemical residue and that residue will leach out of the ground and enter their bodies–ahhhhhh! Never mind that the residue in frac sand waste, chemicals like hydrochloric acid, is in such minuscule quantities it’s the equivalent of the amount of hydrochloric acid found in eye drops (yes, eye drops). But facts never get in the way of a good phobia–or a good lie spun by the likes of anti-drilling groups like Food & Water Watch that exist to stop legal, legitimate and safe businesses in the United States from operating…
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PA DEP Meetings on Injection Well, Marcellus Landfill Expansion

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold two public meetings, one tonight and one two weeks from tonight, with implications for the Marcellus Shale industry in the state. The first meeting, tonight at 6 pm in Indiana County, will be a question and answer session followed by a public hearing on an application from Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) to convert an old production well into a wastewater injection well. The well is located in Grant Township, Indiana County. The second meeting, on June 15 at 6 pm in Lackawanna County, will consider Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s permit application to expand its facility located in Dunmore and Throop Boroughs. That expansion would mean accepting more waste in general, including Marcellus drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt from drilling). The details for both meetings…
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DEP Still Studying Keystone Landfill Expansion, Plans 2nd Hearing

The third busiest landfill in Pennsylvania is the Keystone Sanitary Landfill, located on the outskirts of Scranton. The Keystone Landfill accepts a great deal of drill cuttings from Marcellus drilling. MDN has chronicled the long fight to first accept, then expand acceptance of drilling waste at the site. Last year Keystone applied for a permit to expand the landfill again–but instead of outward, they want to expand it upward, making it higher, to gain more capacity. At present about 10% of the incoming waste stream at the landfill is shale waste. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had, as of last summer, delayed granting the expansion request pending more study (see DEP Delays Scranton Landfill Expansion; Requires Study). In the meantime, Keystone’s base operating permit was up for renewal and earlier this week they got that renewal from the DEP. In the DEP announcement about renewing Keystone’s base permit, they mentioned that a new/second public hearing will soon be held on Keystone’s request to expand upward…
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Anti Groups Sue ODNR to Stop All Frack Waste Disposal in State

With seeming endless supplies of money to file frivolous lawsuits, the virulently anti-drilling and misnamed Food & Water Watch (FWW) along with the so-called FreshWater Accountability Project (FWAP) have, yes, filed yet another lawsuit. Surprise! This time to the two organizations are suing the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) in a case that, if successful, would prevent the ODNR from issuing permits to allow the safe disposal of frack wastewater and drill cuttings. That is, drillers in Ohio (and Pennsylvania, which sends a lot of waste to Ohio for disposal), would have no place to safely dispose fracking wastes, which would (you guessed it) shut down drilling in the Utica and Marcellus…
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