Shale Wastewater Pipelines in PA – The Next Big Thing?

Are underground shale wastewater pipelines the “next big thing” for the Pennsylvania midstream (i.e. pipeline) industry? According to Thomas Karam, CEO of Equitrans Midstream Corp. (formerly EQT Midstream), they just may be. Most of Equitrans’ pipeline business is flowing natural gas. A little bit of their business is dedicated to flowing wastewater. Karam wants to grow that little bit into a much bigger bit.
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Antero’s WV Frack Wastewater Plant “Best Project Like it in World”

Clearwater Facility

Antero Resources’ innovative wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, WV began operation in November 2017 (see Antero’s $275M WV Wastewater Recycling Facility Ready to Launch). Since that time, the Clearwater Facility has continued to expand. Today it operates at about 70% of its full capacity.
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Judge Orders Grant Twp to Pay PGE $102K in Legal Fees

Pennsylvania towns that pass sketchy local ordinances that skirt state laws are on notice: It’s going to cost you. Big. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, PA that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. The ordinance was tossed by a judge, and now the town will have to pay $102,000 in legal fees incurred by the operator.
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Jessup Votes to Allow Power Plant Water in Local Sewage System

Credit: Power Technology (click for larger version)

Here’s one we consider a conundrum. In Jan. 2018 MDN told you that the Borough of Jessup (Lackawanna County), PA was supposed to rule, quickly, on a request by Invenergy to allow a new power plant it was building at the time to, when fully built and operating, discharge up to 56,600 gallons of “wastewater” (heated water) per day in the borough’s sewage system (see New Town Board Tries to Stop Nearly-Done Gas-Fired Plant in Jessup). The plant has been operating since early this year, but the borough just voted to approve the sewage wasterwater plan…yesterday.
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Work Restarts at 8-Year Dormant Youngstown, OH Injection Well

click for larger version

A wastewater injection well that was drilled some eight years ago but never opened for business near Youngstown, OH is once again seeing construction activity–in preparation to bring the well online. Although the Northstar Collins #6 well was drilled years ago, the original permit to operate it is expired. The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) says they are talking with the owners and expect a new permit application to be filed any time now.
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Ohio Hearing re Making Coshocton Class II Injection Wells Class I

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) will hold a public hearing on April 15 to consider draft permits the agency has floated to allow two frack wastewater injection wells (Class II) in Coshocton County to be reclassified as Class I wells, allowing them to accept waste other than frack waste.
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Court Challenge to Plum Zoning Against Injection Well Proceeds

In early 2018, the federal EPA approved a new Marcellus wastewater injection well for the Pittsburgh suburb of Plum Borough (see Federal EPA Approves Permit for Plum, PA Wastewater Injection Well). The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) also needs to approve it. They held a public hearing in October to elicit input, a hearing where every single person who spoke was against the project (see Plum Injection Well Hearing Draws Solid Opposition).
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Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater

Eureka Resources owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale. Two of the facilities are located in Williamsport (Lycoming County), PA, and one in Standing Stone Township (Bradford County), PA, near Towanda. Eureka has just announced a joint venture to use high tech to recover lithium from the Marcellus wastewater they process. How cool is that?!
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PA Fracking Wastewater Turned into Clorox Pool Salt

In 2013 Eureka Resources built a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment facility near Towanda (Bradford County), PA with a capacity to treat up to 10,000 barrels of wastewater per day (see Eureka Resources Building PA’s Biggest Marcellus Wastewater Plant). Among the products produced at the “Standing Stone” plant near Towanda is swimming pool salt. Antis are having a cow.
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Antis Try to Pick Open Old Scab of Settled (and Sealed) Range Case

Three families who live near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment at the Yeager Marcellus Shale site in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). The case was eventually settled and sealed in September 2018.
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Highland Begins Drilling New Injection Well in Trumbull Co., OH

Brookfield location in Trumbull County

MDN recently received a tip from a reader that Highland Field Services (subsidiary of Seneca Resources, which itself is a subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company) began drilling a new wastewater injection well in Brookfield (Trumbull County), Ohio. This is the third (of five) injection wells Highland has received permits to drill in Highland.
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Truck Accident Spills 4,200 Gal. of Wastewater in Lycoming County

A truck hauling produced water–naturally occurring water from the depths that continues coming out of a drilled well long after it’s been fracked–overturned and spilled approximately 4,200 gallons of that wastewater. The wastewater, often called “brine” due to its minerally or salty composition, came from Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) shale wells and was being hauled by Stallion Oilfield Services. It spilled on the ground “adjacent” to a “native trout stream” in the Pine Creek area in Lycoming County, PA.
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National Truck Stop Chain Buys M-U Wastewater Hauler

You know those Pilot Flying J truck stops you sometimes visit to fill up as you’re traveling along our nation’s interstate highways? They’re not just big gas stations with convenience stores. Pilot Flying J has its own fleet of trucks. One of the divisions of Flying J targets the exploration and production (E&P) sector, i.e. drillers. Flying J has just announced it has bought out Equipment Transport, LLC, which hauls shale wastewater in the Marcellus, Utica and Permian Basin. Now your favorite truck stop is also your favorite wastewater hauler!
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Treating PA’s Acid Mine Drainage & Frack Wastewater Together

Pennsylvania has had a seriously bad problem with acid mine drainage for years–water that washes through old/abandoned coal mines that comes back out heavily laden with minerals that make it acidic and a danger to the environment. More recently, with the shale revolution, PA has also found itself with an abundance of shale wastewater–most of it “produced” water that comes from deep in the earth (not surface drinking water), also laden with all sorts of minerals. Both acid mine water and shale wastewater are not easy to treat. Some sharp kids and their professors at the University of Pittsburgh got the bright idea to combine the two together, and treat them together, at the same time. Why? Because they have opposite amounts of barium and sulfates. Combine the two and you can more easily remove the nasty stuff via “precipitation.” How cool is that?
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Ohio EPA Considers Converting Class II Injection Wells to Class I

Buckeye Brine, a relatively young Ohio-based company, owns and operates three shale wastewater injection wells in Coshocton County. Buckeye has operated their three Class II (as they are known) injection wells “flawlessly” for the past five years. No earthquakes. No spills. No leaks back to the surface. Nothing. Buckeye now wants to re-designate two of the three wells as Class I wells, which would allow them to accept non-shale wastewater–from industrial equipment operators, soap manufacturers, food processors, power plants, and municipal wastewater treatment plants. But antis are kicking up a fuss, claiming the change will pollute everything and everyone from here to Timbuktu. Fortunately state regulators are not swayed by such histrionics. The Ohio EPA is accepting public comments on the conversion until Nov. 26. There’s still time to write in and support the project!
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