Wasting Away- Radioactive Imports Flood Ohio from Other States

From the Pennsylvania Interview: “We don’t want it in the building, take it to Ohio”

Importing oil and gas ‘fracking’ waste from other states has been in the works for quite some time. Below is a 2010 interview by Ralph Kisberg of Williamsport, Lycoming County, PA with the PR person at Larson Design Group regarding sending wastes to Ohio: 

 The Guardian sat down with Marty Muggleton Vice President of Larson Design Group, the folks behind Terra Aqua Resource Management (TARM), on the eve of the opening of their first facility, a gas industry wastewater treatment plant…  

 The Guardian sat down with Marty Muggleton Vice President of Larson Design Group, the folks behind Terra Aqua Resource Management (TARM), on the eve of the opening of their first facility, a gas industry wastewater treatment plant scheduled to go online April 1st at the old C.A. Reed factory, now Watertower Square, down by the river in the east end of Williamsport. The first phase, “Generation 1”, will treat drilling activity and fracking wastewater. All the water brought into the plant will be returned to well sites. There will be  “zero liquid discharge” into the Susquehanna River in Generation 1. 

“Part of our culture is to be high compliant, we are going to be better than what the regulations require. We choose zero liquid discharge because we said why would you want to dump salt in the river, why would you ever want to do that?” 

“ Back in ’08 we started to get our head around this. Our corporate strategic plan has us heading off in more directions and the gas industry presented challenges and opportunities. In this part of the county gas exploration is going to be controlled by fresh water, then water disposal. Let’s look at it over 30 years. We have experience with industrial waste water treatment. I think the companies we work with think, these guys are going to get it right, they are not going to screw up.”

“Gen 1 treatment will leave a filter cake to be disposed of, all the water will go back to be reused in the fracking process at other well sites. The filter cake looks like jello.  Put it into a filter press and it is pretty dry. Gen 1 water is residual waste, not a hazardous waste, the water goes back to be reused, the filter cake to a landfill. Gen 2 will come online in 2013. It will condense fluid to a heavy brine which can’t be reused. That brine will be sent to injection wells in Ohio. TARM will use electricity to power the thermal system for condensing. In terms of air quality, steam will be created, but it will not be natural gas powered so nothing like burning several thousand cubic feet of NG a minute.”

“ DEP had some interesting questions for us about radiation safety. We contracted with a certified health physicist to help us plan.  We’ll check the water that comes in for radiation at levels set lower than the landfill. Employees will have radiation detection badges, you don’t really have to but why not, they cost about 4 bucks. We have a landfill who has agreed to take it. Lycoming county’s won’t. My sense is once they see our data, that may change. The radiation levels we are dealing with are slightly higher than this table. A gas company may run a tracer in the well that would cause higher readings, but that would be a special situation and we have the discretion to refuse any load and say, we don’t want it in the building, take it to Ohio. We try to have limits that are better than regulation.”

“Daily flow from produced water is so small here, there is no sense in building a well to dispose of it. Produced water is the fluid that comes up the well for years, 200 gallons a week, or a day, depends on pressure, dryness of earth the well goes through, maybe 500 gallons a day tops. In Ohio they have sand formation below shale and the shale is a barrier. You have to have a receiving formation and sand is normal, but in Ohio it is below the shale.”

“Gen 1 will run 24/7. We’ll try to limit deliveries from 6 pm tp 6 am to attempt to remove conflict with school buses, or to cause congestion with the Faxon exit off ramp, but they will be weather dependent at times. We have a road bonding agreement with Loyalsock Township, City of Williamsport and the owners of Watertower Square. No tanker trucks will be over the legal weight. We’ll mostly see the 5500 or 6500 gallon trucks. Discussions are underway about natural gas fueling stations in the area. For Gen 2, we will try to put a rail spur in and load the heavy brine right here and off to Ohio.”

“ Gen 1 will have eight employees, Gen 2, sixteen. We are a small part of the solution. Recycle/reuse works because the companies are drilling so aggressively. Once water demand goes below water supply then you have to discharge. But there is always going to be a portfolio of options. We anticipate relatively strong drilling for 6 years around here. After that we don’t know. As to your question about re-fracking, I don’t think anyone has an idea about re-fracking in the Marcellus yet.”


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