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Posted Fri Mar 4 2011: from Huffington Post:
Natural Gas Industry Dumping More Wastewater Into Rivers Than A Year Ago
Pennsylvania's natural gas drillers are still flushing vast quantities of contaminated wastewater into rivers that supply drinking water, despite major progress by the industry over the past year in curtailing the practice. Under pressure from environmentalists and state officials, energy companies that have been drilling thousands of gas wells in the state's countryside spent part of 2010 overhauling the way they handle the chemically tainted and sometimes radioactive water that gushes from the ground after a drilling technique known as high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.... But drilling in the vast, gas-rich rock formation known as the Marcellus Shale is growing so explosively that some of those gains are being erased by operators that still send their waste to plants that discharge into rivers.... By comparison, some 3.6 million barrels were sent to those same plants during the 12-month period that ended on June 30. That means that even with the recycling effort ramping up tremendously, more tainted wastewater is being dumped into rivers now than was the case a year ago. A total of 1,386 new gas wells were drilled in the state last year, up from 768 a year earlier. Thousands more well permits have been approved.
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