PA DEP Caves to Radicals, Revokes PGE Injection Well Permit

This is truly disappointing. A few weeks ago we told you that Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled a long-running lawsuit involving Grant Township (Indiana County, PA) will continue on through the court system (see Grant Lawsuit Using ERA Threatens PA Injection Wells & Fracking). Grant, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the extreme radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well, is attempting to use the state’s so-called Environmental Rights Act to justify its illegal ordinance. The court gave its blessing to that effort. And because the court is sending the signal it’s OK to invoke the ERA to justify just about anything, the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now going along by revoking a permit issued to Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) to build an injection well in Grant.
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Grant Lawsuit Using ERA Threatens PA Injection Wells & Fracking

In a disappointing decision, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled a long-running lawsuit filed against Grant Township (Indiana County, PA) will continue on through the court system. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. Part of the ordinance was tossed. However, Commonwealth Court has decided the town can continue to try and make a case that it should be able to override state law with its home-cooked regulations because by doing so they will somehow protect citizens’ health, which the town says is allowed under PA’s poorly-written Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA).
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Shale Water Management in the M-U, Coming to Pittsburgh Mar 24-25

Water is the lifeblood of shale drilling. Water must get to the pad for use in drilling and fracking. But then, after the drilling is done and the well is connected, produced water continues to flow from the borehole for years to come. All that water must be managed. In the early days of Marcellus/Utica drilling every spare gallon of produced water got recycled for reuse drilling the next well. With a slowdown in new M-U drilling, produced water is piling up. What can be done to manage it? The 10th Annual Cost-Effective Shale Water Management Marcellus and Utica 2020 event, coming March 24-25 in Pittsburgh, has the answers.
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Company Asks to Build 2 New Injection Wells in Belmont County, OH

Kirkwood Twp, Belmont County, OH

Tri-State Environmental has filed for permits to build two new brine (i.e. shale wastewater) injection wells in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County, Ohio. Meanwhile, another new injection well planned for Belmont (Omni Energy), which we told you about last summer (see Belmont County Injection Well Plan Stirs Opposition from Coal Co.), continues to make progress.
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Studies Show How Much Shale Wastewater Produced, Recycled in M-U

University of Texas at Austin researchers have just published two new wastewater studies in two different peer-reviewed journals. One study quantifies, for the first time, how much water is produced from oil and natural gas operations in major shale plays (including the Marcellus) compared with how much is needed for fracking. In some plays, there is so much water coming out of the ground from oil and gas wells (after fracking, called produced water) that the volume coming out is more than enough to drill and frack all of the new wells in those plays. No freshwater sources required. In the Marcellus, we use more water than could be provided by recycling produced water from our wells. The second study looks at the potential for using produced water in other sectors, like agriculture, for those plays where there is an abundance of extra produced water.
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Range Recycles ALL its Wastewater + Water from 14 Other Drillers

A number of Marcellus/Utica drillers recycle most, if not all of, the flowback and produced water from the wells they drill. Produced water (from the depths) continues to pour out of wells for years after they’re drilled. Produced water is super salty, filled with minerals. If a driller can’t reuse the water, they must dispose of it–typically via an injection well (in Ohio). Range Resources not only recycles all of its own produced water but also accepts and reuses produced water from 14 other drillers!
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Keystone Clearwater “Comes Home” to Former Owner, Sale Complete

Keystone Clearwater Solutions, a company that provides water services for shale drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is “coming home” in a sense. We told you in November that SC Water, LLC, a Pennsylvania-based natural gas and oil industry investment group, announced it had signed an agreement to buy Keystone Clearwater from American Water for an undisclosed amount (see American Water Selling PA Frack Water Co. Keystone Clearwater). The deal is now done and ownership has transferred.
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Southwestern Returns as Much Freshwater to Environment as Used

Southwestern Energy continues to be a trailblazer among Marcellus/Utica shale drillers. The company voluntarily participates in several environmental programs aimed at lowering methane emissions, including the TrustWell™ Responsible Gas Program and the ONE Future organization (see Southwestern Energy Lands Another “Responsible Gas” Customer). Air quality is not the only environmental issue important to Southwestern. Water is too.
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Marcellus Wastewater Plant in PA Extracts 1st Batch of Lithium

lithium chloride molecule

In March, MDN brought you the news that Eureka Resources, which owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process wastewater from the Marcellus Shale, announced a joint venture with MGX Minerals to use MGX’s high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater (see Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater). In September MGX’s equipment arrived on site in Bradford County, PA and installation began (see Marcellus Wastewater Plant in PA Gets Ready to Extract Lithium). Finally, the day is here! Last week the very first batch of lithium chloride was extracted from Marcellus brine wastewater.
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Eurkea Gets $1.5M Grant to Expand Lithium from Wastewater PA Plant

Eureka Resources, which owns and operates a centralized treatment/recycling facility in Bradford County, PA to process Marcellus watewater, is getting a $1.5 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects grant to help the plant launch a high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater. Yes, lithium, like that used to manufacture rechargeable batteries.
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Grant Twp, PA Continues Legal Battle Against PGE Injection Well

For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, PA, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. Part of the ordinance was tossed, and earlier this year a judge ordered the town to pay $102,000 in legal fees incurred by the operator the town has harmed by its action (see Judge Orders Grant Twp to Pay PGE $102K in Legal Fees). Grant appealed the fine to federal court. In the meantime, Grant Twp continues to burn through taxpayer money by appealing the poorly-written ordinance that bans injection wells. Grant was in court again on Friday paying lawyers to defend the indefensible.
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Marcellus Wastewater Plant in PA Gets Ready to Extract Lithium

Left to Right: Preston McEachern CEO PurLucid, Chris Frantz VP Business Development Eureka, Dan Ertel CEO Eureka, and Jared Lazerson CEO MGX (click for larger version)

In March, MDN brought you the news that Eureka Resources, which owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale, announced a joint venture with MGX Minerals to use MGX’s high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater (see Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater). As of yesterday, MGX’s equipment arrived on site in Bradford County, PA.
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Antero Idles WV Frack Wastewater Plant Launched 2 Years Ago

Antero Clearwater Treatment Facility – Pennsboro, WV (click for larger version)

Ace reporter Paul Gough at the Pittsburgh Business Times is reporting an exclusive: Antero Resources, which built and launched an innovative frack wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, WV less than two years ago at a cost of $300 million, has idled the plant and is considering selling it. Say what?
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Man Pleads Guilty to Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marc. Trucks

Last September MDN brought you news that six men had been charged with conspiring to illegally alter emission systems on 30+ trucks with heavy-duty diesel engines used to haul water and wastewater to and from Marcellus Shale wells (see 6 Charged with Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marcellus Trucks). The sixth and final man charged plead guilty yesterday in U.S. Middle District Court in Pennsylvania.
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