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Mon Nov 5, 2012, 04:54 PM

Marcellus Watch: A river of waste

Article on a study by Stony Brook University scientists that identifies the biggest problem with horizontal drilling as wastewater disposal:

" It analyzes water pollution risks associated with high-volume horizontal hydrofracking of the Marcellus Shale, and it pinpoints the biggest problem: disposing of fracking wastewater.
The study was written by Stony Brook doctoral student Daniel Rozell and Dr. Sheldon Reaven, a professor in the Department of Technology and Society and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. It appeared in the August 2012 issue of the journal Risk Analysis, published by the Society for Risk Analysis.
Rozell and Reaven used “probability bounds analysis” to rate five potential pathways for water contamination related to fracking. They concluded that four of those pathways - all furiously debated in public - were several orders of magnitude less significant than the disposal challenge.
Yes, gas well casings often leak. Yes, wastewater trucks tip over and spill. Yes, over time, toxic substances might even seep up from deep horizontal wells into fresh water aquifers near the surface. And yes, once in a while, a well pad waste containment pond or tank might fail and cause a major local spill.
But those types of problems - significant though they are - are almost negligible next to the big-ticket item of wastewater disposal.
Even in a best-case scenario, one Marcellus well could release at least 200 cubic meters of contaminated fluids, the scientists found.
“Given typical well spacing in the Marcellus Shale, if only 10 percent of the region (parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia) is developed, this would equate to 40,000 wells,” the report concludes. “Using the best-case median risk determined above, the volume of contaminated water would equate to several hours of flow of the Hudson River or a few thousand Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

full article at http://www.the-leader.com/newsnow/x255965316/Marcellus-Watch-A-river-of-waste

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Reply Marcellus Watch: A river of waste (Original post)
grntuscarora Nov 2012 OP
GitRDun Nov 2012 #1

Response to grntuscarora (Original post)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 05:02 PM

1. This will be but a part of the story as more information about

pollution and these types of gas wells becomes more widely known.

There are significant methane releases into the atmosphere as well as operators drill out plugs in sections that have been previously fracked. Condensate storage tanks are also not built to minimize releases.

Obama would serve the country well to be more circumspect about environmental risks related to natural gas in his second term.

A full speed ahead approach may create as many problems as it solves. I would prefer they add some cost to the process to make it safer rather than let the industry continue to dictate operating terms.

As I recall, Bush / Cheney and their Congress exempted the industry from Clean Water Act, Maybe this can be revisited.

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