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Pennsylvania drilling wastes might overwhelm Ohio injection wells

Note: The conclusion of the article below – that industry just needs to learn how to better treat fracking wastewater – misses the point.  We don’t need to accept that boosting domestic energy production will create environmental costs; instead, we must accept that a drastic reduction in consumption of energy in the US (and globally) is needed.  Shipping wastewater to the Gulf Coast will put communities at risk in a region where environmental racism runs rampant.  The only solution to avoid water contamination is to stop fracking, and keep all remaining gas reserves in the ground.

-The GJEP Team

By Bob Downing, January 22, 2013.  Source: Akron Beacon Journal

Photo: Mladen Antonov  /  AFP - Getty Images

Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP – Getty Images

The volume of drilling wastes from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale is growing and threatening to overwhelm existing waste-handling infrastructure in Ohio and other states, according to a study released Tuesday.

Ohio’s 179 injection wells for disposing of briny waste might not be sufficient for the Pennsylvania waste, plus wastes from Ohio’s developing Utica shale, said Brian Lutz, assistant professor of biogeochemistry at Kent State University, who led the analysis while he was a postdoctoral research associate at Duke University.

The volume of Marcellus wastewater has grown 570 percent from 2004 to 2011 due to increased shale gas production in Pennsylvania, Lutz said.

“The overall volume of water that now has to be transported and treated is immense,” he said. “It threatens to overwhelm the region’s wastewater-disposal infrastructure capacity.”
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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydrofracking, Waste, Water