Protesting frack water plans

Date: February 28, 2011

Petition opposes facility at WVSA plant

By Jennifer Learn-Andes jandes@timesleader.com
Luzerne County Reporter

Plymouth resident Scott Cannon and others are circulating fliers warning the public that the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority may get involved in treating water used in natural gas drilling.

The flier urges citizens to attend the authority\’s next meeting on Feb. 15.

Authority consultant John Minora told Cannon and other members of the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition in December that the authority is considering expanding its Hanover Township facility to treat used water from drilling sites.

The wastewater would be a product of a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which millions of gallons of water with a relatively small concentration of chemicals and sand are shot into well bores to release the natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation more than a mile underground.

This water returns to the surface extremely salty and may be reused for fracking if it is diluted.

The authority could lease some land near its plant to a company interested in building a frack water treatment plant and sell that company treated water from the authority\’s existing plant for reuse in fracking, Minora has said.

Leasing land and selling water would generate revenue for the authority and reduce the amount of treated water the authority releases into the Susquehanna River, in turn lowering the nitrogen levels in the Chesapeake Bay, Minora has said.

The flier warns people of increased truck traffic, road damage, air pollution and the potential for spills of toxic frack water containing heavy metals, chemicals and radioactive earth minerals.

Chemicals removed from the water must be stored, which is another concern, the flier says.

Area residents are in the dark about how the water will be transported back and forth and where the chemicals will be contained, Cannon said.

“Anyone who lives along state Route 11 and around the Carey Avenue Bridge might be in danger of truck accidents, and these would probably be big tanker trucks,” Cannon said. “This could lower property values, too.”

Cannon said he was informed that the authority will be reviewing proposals related to the project at the Feb. 15 meeting.

Authority representatives referred comment to Minora, who could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Copyright: Times Leader

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