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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Landfill May Partner With Frack Water Treatment Plant

New frac water treatment

40 jobs in the offing


McELHATTAN - The Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling boon has created a huge demand for water treatment facilities - and the Wayne Township landfill has decided to answer that call.

The Clinton County Solid Waste Authority has entered into an agreement with a private firm for treatment of "frac" water from the natural gas drilling process.

The board chose a proposal from Renewable Fluid Services, which is a partner with Sieman's Water Technologies of Warrandale, over three other initiatives that were submitted for consideration, Wayne Township Landfill General Manager Jay Alexander reported.

If all is in order with the application process, the company hopes to be up and running by next year, Alexander said. He noted the plans call for about 40 new jobs, of which 90 percent will be local hires. More...


Anonymous said...

I have suggested this and many other things Potter should be doing to facilitate this industry.
This is the sort of thing that creates the local jobs associated with the Marcellus play.
We have a task force...They have talked about this industry,investigated it, and looked into all the ways to regulate,oversee and tax it.
I think it is time to look into ways to benefit from it.More jobs,more tax paid,less government support needed in tough times.The time to talk is about used up. How about moving forward?

Anonymous said...

Could not agree with you more! Your post hit the nail right on the head, for sure!

Anonymous said...

I agree!!!!
They're using the water locally, let's process it locally and keep the money here!

Anonymous said...

Considering Potter County does not have a landfill it would be kinda hard to do something like this.

John Q Public said...

Even without a landfill on location here in the county, I believe it would still be beneficial for the drilling companies to be able to haul and resupply frac water locally even if the final waste needed to be hauled away again to another site for disposal.

Anonymous said...

What Potter County does have...
Several water treatment plants that could be modified to also treat frac water.
The Coudersport plant is located across the road from the industrial park.The first stage of treatment could be located there and secondary treatment could be done at the existing plant.In the Industrial park there would also be room for storage prior to treatment.
You can bet money would be made available for a project like this,and it is on route 6 for easy truck transport.
This sort of step forward would also spawn a local haul company.
Lets quit playing games and start using all that task force knowlege!

Unknown said...

A rousing "AMEN" to all who see the need to move forward rather than complain. Natural gas and all that goes w/it isn't a curse if developed correctly from all angles. Keep the ideas coming!

Oz said...

Come on Doug, Paul and Susan, put your thinking caps on and open the door and make some phone calls and GET SOME LOCAL JOBS going with this idea.

You have established the committees and groups of people to look into the matter of gas drilling, now have then look into this as well!

Anonymous said...

How about a truck stop.Can't even buy diesel or get repairs.With all these trucks running day and night,and throw in Buckler Transport and the logging industry, someone with a little drive could make a nice living.Bet you could get a nice piece of property on rt6 down SOLOMONS way.

Anonymous said...

A Biomass plant is another thing that would go hand in hand with gas development.Many sites will be cleared,right of ways opened,roads built. The State Forests are being opened up to drilling.Exploration companys are charged double stumpage for valued timber they remove.Because of this a great effort is made to leave these trees and choose locations with low value timber.This is Biomass and is pushed to the side and left to rot.Cheap energy and jobs for a Potter town sounds like a great idea.Federal and State money is available.Galton or Austin would be prime locations for such a venture.How about it Task Force

Anonymous said...


Baker Hughes, a company in the Crestwood Industrial Park in Wright Township, Luzerne County, PA, hopes to store the radioactive materials tritium, cesium and americium for use in Marcellus Shale mining operations, as reported in The Citizens Voice. Company officials say the materials are a little smaller than a Tylenol capsule. Township supervisors will vote on the special land-use permit at their meeting on December 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wright Township Municipal Building. If approval is granted, the materials will be stored at the Mountain Top site until they are used to determine formation factors related to drilling. Baker Hughes is headquartered in Texas. The company must also seek permits from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

Anonymous said...

More landfill oppertunities

Radioactivity Present in Marcellus Brines
When you buy a home in upstate NY, one of the things you do as a matter of course is test for radon. That's because many of the rock layers beneath our homes contain naturally occurring radioactive material - "NORM" for short. And for years the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has held the view that normal disturbances of NORM-rock, such as mining and drilling, do not generally pose a threat to workers or the general public.

But recent tests of brine from Marcellus wells may change that. In October 2008 and April 2009 the DEC submitted 13 brine samples from twelve Marcellus wells that were actively producing gas last year. Test results came back with higher than expected levels of NORM. Some brines had levels of radium-226 as high as 250 times the allowable level for discharge into the environment and thousands of times higher than the maximum allowed in drinking water.

Radioactivity in Shale

Radioactivity in Marcellus shale, present as trace elements uranium-238, thorium-232, radium-222, radium-226, and radium-228, is not uniform; it varies from place to place. Over time these radioactive particles decay, with half-lives anywhere from 4 days to 1600 years. And while some exposure to radiation is unavoidable - we're all exposed to a certain amount of background radiation - it doesn't necessarily mean it's harmless.

Exposure to some radionuclides – even at low levels – can cause bone cancer, stomach and lung cancers and other health problems. Radon gas, long known to be associated with Marcellus shale, has been shown to be the primary cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked.

So the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established guidelines for certain radionuclides: the maximum contaminant level of radium in drinking water as 5 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), for uranium is 30 pCi/L and for the total alpha emitters is 15 pCi/L. They've also established levels that can be put into the environment: the maximum level of radium-226 allowed to be discharged in wastewater is 60 pCi/L and the maximum levels in soil are 5 pCi/g on the surface and 15 pCi/g in subsurface soils.

But in some of the Marcellus brines, DEC found levels of radium-226 ranging up to 16,030 pCi/L - more than 3200 times higher than the allowable levels in groundwater and 267 times higher than what’s allowed to be discharged into streams.

Radioactive Waste

These higher-than-expected levels of radionuclides does present a problem, given that the current waste treatment option for gas well brines is to transport them to a public wastewater treatment facility. And this past summer the New York State Department of Health (DOH) raised those concerns. According to a report by ProPublica, the DOH sent a letter to DEC warning of public health issues related to disposing of the drilling waste. Wastewater treatment plants will need to do more thorough testing before accepting drilling fluids, noted DOH, and workers may need to be monitored for radiation in much the same way as workers at nuclear facilities.

Anonymous said...

Another Damn Tree Hugger spreading fear.You complain about the frac water.Technology is developed to treat it and make it safe.(still not good enough for you)The technology can be used as an add on to existing treatment plants,but you still spread your propaganda.
Try being honest...You don't want anything that would change your way of life.
Just Leave-We never wanted you here to start with!

Anonymous said...

Just think, we could treat this at our sewer plants and discharge it into the Allegheny River. We could fish at night without even having a light as the fish would glow in the dark from the radiation. Better yet spread the effluent on our roads to keep ice from forming. People in Potter County are invincible, we might as well be invisible. Nothing can hurt us, we want the money. Drill Baby Drill!!!

Anonymous said...

Baker Hughes is a wire line company.The radioactive materials are used down hole after drilling is completed.Think of it as an x-ray.It is lowered and retrieved.It is not injected into the formation as part of the frac process as you would like the readers to believe.
Radioactive sources have been permitted and stored right here in
Potter County for decades.
Damn Lying Tree Hugger!

Anonymous said...

Great! I think I'm going to learn something.
Point me to your reference that treats the radioactivity present in Marcellus Brines.

I didn't know we could add a shed to a treatment plant and send redioactive wast through it. Shucks I is much stupid.

Do we put the "hot salt" on the roads or just ship it to Utah.

Please show me your reference so I can know the right way.

Try and hold off on the Ad Hominem attacks and just provide the reference.

Because I read:
Four of the twelve or so active Marcellus wells in NY are operated by Fortuna, and all four of those wells are located in the little town of Orange, in Schuyler County. Given the relatively low volume of wastewater of the current vertical wells - compared to what’s expected from the horizontal Marcellus wells - and given the lack of local industrial wastewater treatment facilities, it is unclear how the gas companies expect to deal with disposal of Marcellus brines.

But one thing is certain: the DEC has not set out any rules regulating radionuclides. Instead, they will run another series of tests, says DEC spokesman Yancey Roy. Rick Kessey, an engineer at Fortuna, agrees that more tests are needed. The DEC’s test results aren’t wrong, Kessey said, but they do seem “out of whack” with previous tests.

Meanwhile, the Marcellus wastewater has to go somewhere. In the past, DEC has allowed brine to be spread on roads to help melt snow and keep down the dust. But public comments at DEC hearings and the recent Marcellus Shale summit held in Owego earlier this week indicate that people aren't comfortable with the idea of "hot salt" on their roads.

There's another problem, too, says Roy. The DEC is concerned about the potential buildup of radioactivity in scale inside casings, pipes and other drilling equipment. That equipment may have to be monitored, Roy said. In addition, the DEC is concerned about potential accumulation of NORM in the sludge from treated wastewater. Radioactive waste can’t be dumped in any municipal landfill in New York State, so that means shipping the waste to Utah, Idaho or other western states that have licensed disposal facilities.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks they above is talking bout 2 different radioactive thingys. one is a redioactive tylenol the other is radioactive brine.

It might not be a good thought to put this radioactive brine on the roads, although we would probably do away with our icy roads, so maybe it would have a benefit

Anonymous said...

There are ways to treat this waste safely and there are buy products from it that has marketable use. As stated earlier in the blog there is potential for a good industry here in the County, but the people on the task force that was put together want to do nothing but spread fear. They are more concern about their fishes than what would be good for the growth finanically for the majority of the people of this County

All I want is water said...

Please share with us 11:31 how you "treat" radioactive waste?

No offense, but your not addressing the article on radioactive wastes above, you are parroting those industry extremists.

Don't look at the shiny penny, look where your walking.

Stock up on Geiger Counters and Dosimeters from Ebay

Anonymous said...

12:41..Your lack of knowlege on the subject makes you just like the anti turbines.You scour the internet for a story that suits your cause and then tout it as gospel.In your own story it is stated that there seems to be a problem as to the reliability of the test results.One time it is one way,the next time it is another.What did the original test results portray?
Oh, and I loved the way you tried to mix in the little tid bit about storing radioactive sources like it was going to be a nuclear dump instead of the type of encapsulated material used all over the world for decades. Someone tuned you up on that one in short order!
As for treating radioactive water..The same way it has been treated all over the world,also for decades!
As a famous comic used to say it,
Go away son.You bother me.

Oz said...

4:35:00 PM...Great post!

Anonymous said...

4:35, Glad to hear you have an answer. Give a call to NY DEC, ask for Yancey Roy and let him know you can help him.

Because, his recent statements seem to contradict you.

DEC spokesman Yancey Roy said that "there are currently no facilities specifically designated for treating them." He added that the state depends on the drilling companies to make sure there is a legal treatment option for the water, and then reviews those plans.

"The department has not received any permit submissions from the well operators that include details about treatment options for the brine containing NORM," he said. "So we do not know what treatment options are being considered or how effective NORM removal will be."

ProPublica contacted several plant managers in central New York who said they could not take the waste or were not familiar with state regulations.

"We are not set up to take radioactive substances," said Patricia Pastella, commissioner of the Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection, which operates the Metropolitan plant in Syracuse, N.Y. "It does present a problem with disposal."

Filtering the water is just one of several problems. Plants that can filter out the radioactive materials are left with a concentrated sludge that has substantially higher radioactivity than the wastewater. Sludge can also collect inside the pipes at well sites, in waste pits and in holding tanks.

Federal laws don't directly address naturally occurring radioactivity, and the oil and gas industry is exempt from federal laws dictating handling of toxic waste, leaving the burden on New York state. New York has laws governing radioactive materials, but the state's drilling plans don't specify when they would apply.

Experts who reviewed the concentrations of radioactive metals found in New York's wastewater said the leftover sludge is likely to exceed the legal limits for hazardous waste and would need to be shipped to Idaho or Washington, to some of the only landfills in the country permitted to accept it.

Fortuna's Kessy said that's an acceptable cost of doing business. "We'll be willing, of course, to fund the necessary disposal means," he said.

The same may be required of some of the equipment used in drilling, which can eventually emit much higher levels of radiation than the water itself. Louisiana, for example, began regulating radioactive materials after it found radioactive build-up in pipes [2] dumped in scrap yards and in the steel used to build schoolyard bleachers.

But the levels in that state were just one-eighth of those measured so far in New York.

"I don't believe anyone has taken a look, seriously, at what the unintended consequences are to dealing with these kinds of materials," said Theodore Adams, the radioactive waste disposal consultant. "It's a unique animal -- a unique disposal -- and depending on where it is located and who is receiving it, it could have an impact."

Anonymous said...

It would seem simple enough to cite the source and location of the reference that the above poster makes about how they have been "treating" this radioactive waste water for decades.

Seems simple enough to me

Anonymous said...

Wow ...
Why should anyone repost what you have just told us??
It can be done,
it is done,and it will be done if needed.Your own story refers to plants that can filter out this type of isotope.Yancey Roy just doesn't know yet if anyone plans to construct them or if they even need to.
By the way...We are not in N.Y. state,and as you have told us before, this all varys from location to location.Possibly well to well.Thus far our area has not had an issue with this.Holy cow,this one and only expert you keep propping up as the Marcellus God isn't even sure he has a problem yet!Hell,he can't even decide if his observations would actually apply or how they even would.You are over reaching the facts to suit your own agenda and you are the one supplying the facts!