PA DEP shuts down wastewater facility

Typical Waste Water Treatment Facility
Typical Waste Water Treatment Facility

Pa. shuts down wastewater facility

Written by Don Hopey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 9:45 am. Posted in Archives

After several spills and at least four violation orders, state environmental regulators have shut down a gas drilling wastewater treatment facility built at a former rodeo arena in Indiana County.

The state Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday that it has revoked the permit issued to Aquatic Synthesis Unlimited and will use the company’s $1 million bond to begin cleaning up the site, which holds 1 million gallons of shale gas drilling wastewater and at least 5 tons of contaminated soil.

John Poister, a DEP spokesman, said URS Energy and Construction, a Pittsburgh firm, has been hired to do the soil remediation and wastewater disposal work. URS will submit a work plan in the next few weeks.

On the site now are several wastewater holding impoundments and at least 54 mobile tanker trailers, each with a capacity of 21,000 gallons, used to haul used wastewater from Marcellus Shale gas well hydraulic fracturing operations. Mr. Poister said it’s not clear how full they are.

“We don’t know yet if the bond will be enough to do the work,” Mr. Poister said. “The cleanup plan will be submitted soon and if the bond isn’t enough, DEP will go after the responsible parties to pay the difference.”

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