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Our look at
BRINE AND WATER TANKER TRUCKS

  
If you know NOTHING ELSE about Marcellus Shale gas wells here is your 5-step Short Course on Marcellus wells and drilling wastewater..


1. Marcellus wells are very thirsty for water -- an average of 4 million gallons of water is needed per well, each time that well is 'fracked.'

2. Twenty to forty percent of that fluid comes back out of the abyss, with Mother Nature's contaminants added to the tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals that went down. These fluids need to be disposed of properly without endangering public health or the environment.

3. This "flowback" and "produced water" contains frac fluids and natural contaminants (often including NORM -- naturally occurring radioactive materials). This salty, high-TDS (total dissolved solids) brine is transported in trucks and temporary pipelines, with pipelines extending for miles. These pipelines have been known to leak and cause fish kills.

4. This hazardous waste needs to be disposed of properly without dumping it into rivers. But where? Deep injection wells have posed their own set of problems with suspected earthquakes and other issues. Disposal of solid drilling wastes in landfills has created another set of concerns due to lingering contamination.

5. Trucks hauling this wastewater are marked only with 'RESIDUAL WASTE' placards instead of NFPA diamonds -- National Fire Protection Association placards -- used commonly to identify hazardous loads.

  
Below are photos of brine tankers and water tanker trucks involved with hauling water to frack jobs on Marcellus Shale, as well as hauling the produced water (flowback) from separation tanks (condensate tanks) to huge wastewater pits, POTW's (Public Owned Treatment Works aka sewage plants) and processing facilities.
 
These tanker trucks also drain the green condensate tanks you see at gas wells sites. While the green tanks are marked with hazardous placards, these trucks have no placards, being unmarked other than the standard "RESIDUAL WASTE" lettering.
 
This trucking aspect of horizontal gas drilling greatly increases the strain on water resources, drinking water purity, road wear and air quality issues from added diesel fumes.
  
  
No hazmat placards appear on any of these trucks like
the placards you see on the tanks they haul fluids from
 
  Hazmat markings on green condensate tanks (above)
Battery of green condensate tanks (below)
 
 
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

The gas industry estimates the amount of high-TDS wastewater needing disposal in Pennsylvania will increase from 9 million gallons per day in 2009 to 20 million gallons per day by 2011.

As Pennsylvania Implements New Wastewater Rules, Some State Waterways Still Face Problems

  
  
  
  
 
  
  
    
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

The April 21, 2009 sampling report below, using data from the West Virginia DEP, shows the make-up of wastewater that went to Liquid Assets Disposal (LAD) in Wheeling, WV for discharge into the Ohio River.

Wastewater analysis


 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
State police Maj. Harvey Cole Jr. said that in response to significant increases in truck traffic, the department had conducted 5,800 roadside inspections of industry trucks since January 2010 and found 13,000 driver and vehicle safety violations, including 2,800 serious enough to put the driver or truck out of service. In all, 42% of the inspections resulted in pulling drivers or vehicles out of service, he said. The national average for all truck inspections is 24%.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
June 22, 2011

 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
  

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