Marcellus Shale Drillers Do Care About the Environment
21st February 2012
Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale gas-drilling companies are recycling more and more of their briny, chemical-laden wastewater, in most cases complying with a request from state officials to keep the pollutants from being discharged into rivers that supply drinking water.
But experts are wondering if a loophole in disposal regulations is still allowing significant quantities of one of the worrisome compounds— salty bromides— into rivers and streams, or if shale-gas drillers were only part of the problem.
The new mystery is this: Why hasn’t the dramatic progress on the wastewater recycling led to equally clear declines in river bromide levels?
An analysis released Friday February 17, 2012 found that of the 10.1 million barrels of shale wastewater generated in the last half of 2011, about 97 percent was either recycled, sent to deep-injection wells or sent to a treatment plant that doesn’t discharge into waterways.
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