I am looking for comments, both in support of and in objection to, gas field wastewater disposal in PA. The PA DEP recently invoked a voluntary request for gas producers in PA to cease disposing their wastewater at disposal facilities in PA. What do you think? Please support you comments with facts. Thanks.

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Comment by Maxwell Posival on August 8, 2011 at 11:38pm
What advice can you share about water treatment? I am part of a company establishing a water treatment plant with newly developed technology.
Comment by Anthony Cialella on May 20, 2011 at 11:22am
Homer that's ashame that you are treat poorly. When I was in Texas the people were great to me and I felt very welcomed. I don't care what a person does for a leaving, I think everyone should be treated with dignity. I agree completely with wat you say about people spreading false information. It hurts everyone including them. Thanks for your post and God Bless.
Comment by Anthony Cialella on May 20, 2011 at 9:21am

First, I think that is so nice of you to open your home, and kitchen, up to your husbands co-workers. There are special blessings for people that do things like that! I also agree with you the people from the gas industry are wonderful to work with. They are the hand shake and it's a deal kind of people. I

 was in Texas last week with some clients and I couldn't believe what it's like down there. I think they get it in Texas, they see the benefits that this industry can bring to families. By the way while I was down there I didn't see or hear of any environmental problems. I am sure they have them too, but it seems they got a grip on things. I think we both believe the environment is very important, and while you and I strongly support the gas industry we both know that we need to honor and respect the views and opinions of those who have concerns. It becomes our duty to listen carfully and take to heart their issues and do what we need to do so as to maintain that balance that keeps PA people working but in an environmentally, and presonal, safe way. I am glad you have such a keen interest in this business and care so much. God Bless.

Comment by William Ladd on May 20, 2011 at 9:16am

Of course there will always be problems arising from any new process or whatever.  But does that mean we should poke along because of the fear  that something disasterous may happen?

 

It just so happens that I was a member of a special 4 man team tracking the first rockets into space. Our team tracked Alan Shepard as he was the first american to ride on the top of one of those huge "firecrackers". Sure we were all apprehensive as we watched our tracking equipment. But we knew what to look for. Many hours were spent by us and other teams making sure that Alan would have a safe trip.  And we all sighed a breath of relief when he returned safely to earth.

 

The gas industry has been working for much longer then the space industry has.  Space flights are quite uneventful for the most part now.  With high speed computers and the information that can be shared instantly now, there is little reason for the natural gas industry to be chained up by the fear mongers! Of course we need to be vigilent and dangerous shortcuts should  not be taken that may cause real problems.  And if a problem develops then immediate steps taken to fix that problem!

 

Bill L.

aka Bummy

Comment by karen brown on May 20, 2011 at 5:53am
Anthony, very impressive, my husband came from a chemical plant of 15 yrs.  I worried everyday that there would be an accident.  He worked in a very unsafe environment and the chemicals that were made and used could have and still can be a diaster if there was an accident by human or mechanical failure.  Worst case sinero, thousands would die and a major waterway would be contaminated.  In his present job in the gas industry my biggest concern is his travel, car accident.  Let me give you his impression of the gas industry when he started his job, now take in mind we have always lived in Pa and he has always worked in the manufacturing industry.  After his first month of work, he was impressed how they stressed saftey.  Documentation of everything, which is good.  Teamwork, he was so impressed on their teamwork of how they worked together and helped eachother out.  He has never worked in that type of environment.  Politeness,  he came home one night and remarked that he never realized how people from our area were snobs.  He said that everyone on his site was informative, polite, helpful to give a hand and he enjoys working with them.  Now don't get me wrong you will find a few bad apples in every bushel but he is impressed.l  He finds his job very interesting.  He is very knowledgeabvle of chemicals and assures me that the gas industry is safe.  We have been approached by environmental extremists for we do have our properties leased.  But the sad thing is that we have come to find out that these people rely on the media and do not know all the facts and are alarmists.  Short story, I know one of these people, several miles from their home they were doing seismic testing.  This person found out and half made it their business to tresspass on the property and comes to find out that there is a sign stating explosives.  They pushed the panic button and made numerous phone calles all over the neighborhood. They did no research.  This person call the ATF???  Now give me a break.  I asked her, does the property owner know, did you investigate if the user is certified, how much is there, what is it etc.  When I bolted these questions and she relayed no, that was the end of the conversation  I have not heard from her since.  She is an alarmists and when she tells me that she rides around for days taking pictures of rigs that she knows nothing about the process it makes me wonder about this type of people.  We need more people like you who is willing to work together Thinking of new ideas to make this process safe for all so our state can be prosperous.  I commend your efforts and keep up the good work.  If people would just ask questions to the proper groups to get correct info.  We are all on a learning curve.  We can make this happen with out a war if we all pull together.  I am proud of my husbands work.  I have met his coworkers and I have visited his site.  I cooked Christmas dinner for 17 men who were away from home working hard on a major holiday.  I was treated with great respect and received calls from wives thanking me for my efforts.  .  My husband has made many new friends, we have been invited to teir homes from all over the south.  That does not happen in the NE and it is sad.
Comment by Anthony Cialella on May 19, 2011 at 8:29pm

Hi Karen, my plant, which I recently sold, treated at times up to 600k gpd all to our permit specs. We have been treating gas waste water since 1995. Some of the regulations coming down the line are really choking the development of the play, particularly for the smaller producers, ask your husband about that and see if he doesn't agree.

Three years ago I offered evaporation as a solution to the tighter regulations to my gas industry clients and no one bit because they were able to take it to POTW's to dispose of it. I really think that's where the problems started, i.e. taking it to POTWs becasue they didn't treat it. Two years ago when the Mon River went over 500mg/l on TDS the sulfides were higer that the chlorides which pointed to AMD rather than the gas fields, a point I made to PA-DEP officials at the 2009 PIOGA conference in Erie.

As far as chemicals go, there really are not that many in the flowback, I can say that because I have the analytical on it, a requirement prior to accepting waste at my facility, and you are right, of the roughly 5M gallons it takes to frac a marcellus well the levels of chemicals are trace. Same goes for the Rivers, I sampled 5 different locations on the rivers my company discharges to and we never noted TDS, Chlorides, Sulfate, Barium, or Strontium above the limits set in the revised Chapter 95.

Their silver bullet was Bromide! This is unbelievable becasue bromide by itself is not a danger, but when combine with salt it is alleged to casue cancer. The Water authority in Beaver Falls that was sited as being over on Trihalomethanes (THM) actaully cleared it up by adding Chloramine and they have be golden the last three quaters on their samplings - no one reported that becasue it didn't support the cause. In todays paper PAWC reported that they have no reported issues in treating their water to 5 PA communities where treated gas filed wastewater is discharged to. I don't have a problem with the new regulations, I do have a problem with the State of PA not giving the processing plants time to make the transition to add the equipment necessary to treat the waste to the levels the PA-DEP wants.

I could go on I have tons of facts and figures, many of which I produced by studies conducted at my own expense, and that of the people I sold my plant to, and some from several Universities and industry studies as well. There is a middle ground we can come to, but I think it's important to here every side of the argument, and I certainly appreciate what you have to say. I am glad to hear people defend the industry, and I want to hear the issues on the other side side as well.  I thinks that the best way to find solutions. Thank you very much for your comments Karen, please continue to offer you thought.

 

Comment by karen brown on May 19, 2011 at 5:56pm
I agree we must all work together.  Before you make any statements know all the facts.  Talk to workers and they can give you an overview or ask at gas seminars.  They do recycle water and use it many times.  I know, my husband is a rigger.  Also, the chemicals they use, people are over reacting.  These are environmentally safe and 99% is water, very little chems.  Don't let people who don't know what they are talking about start a panic.  Yes there will be accidents, it is human nature but are you going to stop driving your car because of emmisions and car accidents and how many of them are there a day in this country?  Water treatment, facilities should not take it if they cannot clean it up, bottom line. Evaporation is a great idea. what about neutralization and using it for irrigation.  We are all in this together and need to think and work together. Pa will prosper. 
Comment by Anthony Cialella on May 18, 2011 at 11:23pm

I like what both of you say. Our safety and that of the environmental are crucial concerns. Water is actually a scarce vital resource that we need to protect. As you say, reuse is a solution, and I think the industry concurs with that. There are treatment methods that can reduce TDS, and constituents in it, but they are expensive and those added costs are eventually passed on to the consumer. I am not sure there is a lot of data available that chronicles the economic impact resued wastewater has on a wells productivity. Scaling does occur which reduces the yield from a well and could possibly result in re-fracing which obviously results in higher costs. The more I study the problem I keep coming back to employing the use of evaporation as a treatment method. I clearly understand it is more costly to utilize this, but the risks of contaminating the environment if there is a spill transporting water site to site are eliminated, and the long term economics of the wells productivity increases - at least from what I can see - which actually reduces the initial higher costs associated with this form of treatment. There are also new opportunities imbedded in this as solutions are created for the ultimate beneficial reuse of the concentrated brine created in this process. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on this?

Comment by Kathleen Elsie Gibbs on May 18, 2011 at 11:22am

I think that those of us that live where we can see what is happening to stay vigilant. If we are going to profit from the gas well then we also have a responsibility to make sure it does not harm the environment, workers and general population.

Well companies, land owners and local officials should all do the best they can to keep things safe for us all.

Comment by Robin Jackson on May 17, 2011 at 8:16am

Anthony, The facts are the problem..We don't know enough of into to report long term damage. WE as the people haven't had time to build a fact filled report..Damage will come years down the road. We see damage and accidents already. I have a huge concern for our water, after all we can't grow it on trees. We have what we have. My grandchildren will su ffer the effects. I'd prefer it to be recycled back into the NG industry.

I do not approve of ruining our enviroment with chemicals just like I didn't approve back in the 70's. Enviromental concerns and how they are acted on hasn't changed. We will pay the price and many have already.

I do understand the need for being self sustainable .

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