Thursday, July 9, 2015

West Virginia DEP Releases a Report addressing the Potential Impacts of Natural Gas Drilling Waste on Ground and Surface Waters

On July 2, 2015, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection made publicly available a report analyzing the impacts of untreated natural gas drilling waste on groundwater or surface water in six West Virginia landfills. The report is entitled “Examination of leachate, drill cuttings and related environmental, economic and technical aspects associated with solid waste facilities in West Virginia.”

In accordance with the amended Solid Waste Management Act, the report was submitted to the West Virginia Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Water Resources and the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Government and Finance, on July 1.

Part of the report is aimed at assessing the potential negative impacts on waters associated with the collection, treatment, and disposal of drilling waste from the six landfills. The researchers found that it is “unlikely” that those drilling waste could enter into contact with sources of drinking water or surface water prior to treatment. In a case where it does, however, the authors stated that the drinking water standards could be exceeded and that wildlife could be damaged.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow


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