Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Treatment Plant for Gas Drilling Wastewater Subject of Athens TWP. Hearing Tonight

(Source: The Daily Review)By Brian Bishop, The Daily Review, Towanda, Pa.
Nov. 18--ATHENS TWP.
-- Drilling in the Marcellus Shale not only produces natural gas, but millions of gallons of waste water that need to be dealt with.

The drilling and hydraulic fracturing of a gas well requires between two and four million gallons of water, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report published this spring. Some of that water, along with ground water, returns to the surface as waste water. More>>>

I found this article interesting for two reasons. One, it gives a very different water use number than the one given to our county commission by an industry representative (the representative stated that they used between 300,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of water per fracture). Two, what is not stated is more interesting than what is. There is talk of the naturally occurring hazardous compounds that are a risk of natural gas drilling, and says basically nothing about the chemicals used and their hazardous nature.
Recently, some of our county officials and several citizens were taken to see a very clean drill site and given some fancy little handouts. One of the pages in this handout stated that the chemicals only comprise .49% of the total solution used and had a pretty little drop of water at the top of the page. To put that in context, that is 49,000 gallons of water for each fracture if one million gallons of water is used, 98,000 gallons of chemicals if two million gallons of water is used, etc. It should also be kept in mind that each well can be fractured up to 17 times. In context, that .49% is a lot more than it seems at first glance.