Fracking attorney named chairman of water
2012 - The new chairman of the multi-state agency that
established water quality standards for the Ohio River,
a drinking water source for 5 million, is a prominent
attorney who has been fighting for natural gas companies
to do more hydraulic fracturing. The Ohio River Valley
Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) announced that
Kenneth Komoroski was elected chairman on July 1st.
Komoroski has represented oil and gas exploration and
production and midstream companies in Pennsylvania,
Ohio, West Virginia, New York and Maryland for more than
20 years. A check of news stories shows Mr. Komoroski at
the center of a number of disputes over the practice
known as fracking.
its beginning at the confluence of the Allegheny River and
Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, the Ohio River is 981-miles long
with a river basin in 14 states. The Ohio River is the largest tributary of the
Mississippi River, and the two rivers meet in Cairo, Illinois.
Unlike the major river basins in eastern Pennsylvania (Susquehanna
River & Delaware River) the Ohio River basin lacks a true river
basin commission that regulates a full spectrum of watershed issues. The closest thing to it for the western part of
Pennsylvania is a commission known as ORSANCO, which stands
for Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission.
The commission was established
in 1948 “to control and abate pollution in the Ohio River Basin.” As
an interstate commission, ORSANCO represents the federal
government and 8 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In light of all the Marcellus
Shale wastewater being dumped into the upper tributaries of the Ohio
River since 2005, it is rather alarming there is no mention of Marcellus Shale
or gas drilling wastewater disposal in the PDF files shown below
from 2010. This is in stark contrast to many of the problems
reported in the upper tributaries of the Ohio River, with trihalomethane issues and
ongoing concerns in early-2011 about bromides and radioactive
wastewater disposal in
the Monongahela River and other Ohio River
tributaries in Pennsylvania.
As the old saying goes, “Everyone is
downstream from someone.” In this case, 5 states are downstream from
Pennsylvania along the Ohio River. That should merit new concerns with
Marcellus gas drilling activity in the 21st Century.
RECENT ORSANCO DOCUMENTS
JUNE 2010 MEETING MINUTES
(No mention of Marcellus Shale or drilling wastewater disposal
POLLUTION CONTROL STANDARDS FOR DISCHARGES
TO THE OHIO RIVER - 2010 Revision
(No mention of Marcellus Shale or drilling wastewater disposal)
SAMPLING DATA: JANUARY - JUNE 2010
Analytical results of bimonthly samples collected from 31 locations
on the Ohio River and its tributaries. In addition to the routine
set of parameters collected bimonthly, quarterly analyses for five
metals are performed on a rotating basis among stations.