By Bob Downing
The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), a collaboration of environmental organizations and energy companies to encourage prudent and responsible development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, announced today that it has expanded its wastewater Performance Standard 1 to address the treatment of shale wastewater at permitted facilities. The expanded standard represents the culmination of a year-long effort by a working group of stakeholders from industry and NGO participating organizations to address conditions necessary for safe surface discharge of treated shale wastewater.
The original performance standard identified recycling and underground injection as acceptable methods of managing produced water and recognized that there was also a need to address methods of wastewater treatment and discharge. For this reason, it contained a commitment that the group would address wastewater treatment by the Fall of 2014. In evaluating water management options, the working group took into account risks associated with long distance trucking, and the fact that outlets for recycling grow more limited as operations mature and begin to produce more water than they can recycle. After examining current federal and state regulatory frameworks, EPA guidance, and available technologies, CSSD’s working group determined that discharge through regulated Centralized Waste Treatment (CWT) facilities would be the most appropriate expansion of wastewater disposal options.Read more