EDF commends Pennsylvania regulators; calls for greater oversight of wastewater treatment and recycling operations

August 7, 2013
Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org

(Harrisburg,PA – August 7, 2013) Environmental Defense Fund applauds the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for shutting down a wastewater plant used by oil and gas companies to treat wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations and to recycle it for reuse at well sites. Pennsylvania regulators revoked Aquatic Synthesis Unlimited’s permit this week for a facility it operated in Indiana County. DEP plans to use the company’s $1 million bond to clean up the facility’s nearly one million gallons of toxic wastewater and at least five tons of contaminated soil. The facility has operated at or near capacity since 2012, was responsible for several spills and received at least four violations from DEP over the last year. This situation highlights the concern that although recycling water used in oil and gas operations can be beneficial for conservation, proper management of waste streams is essential to ensure greater environmental harm is not caused.

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