This is what happens when your Republican Governor picks a Department of Environmental Protection head who doesn’t believe in protecting the environment:
Given the Corbett administration’s track record, this plan by the state Department of Environmental Protection is alarming.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has rescinded a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment permit that would have allowed a New Jersey company to spread chemically contaminated salts on roadways, sidewalks and fields statewide. The DEP pulled the permit, issued in August to Integrated Water Technologies Inc., after admitting the required public notice about the permit did not accurately describe the permitted activity and the department hadn’t fully considered the impact on the environment.
In other words, the DEP got caught trying to deceive the public about the permit. While the permit has been temporarily rescinded, the DEP intends to move forward with the plan after a new public comment period.
Wastewater from shale gas wells is hazardous and requires either specialized treatment or disposal in injection wells (typically depleted conventional oil wells). It contains high levels of mineral salts, heavy metals, drilling compounds, volatile organic compounds, and even radioactive materials. Because of the volume generated by Marcellus shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, the wastewater is quickly overwhelming existing storage and treatment infrastructure in the state.
Two points about this:
1. Do they not know that road salt gets washed off the road…somewhere? Like into groundwater and streams?
2. Also, you step on road salt and track it into your house on your shoes. Your kids or your dog or cat inevitably crawls around on the floor and gets exposed to that stuff. Radioactive stuff!