What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 12, 2010

Public Comment Period on Marcellus Waste Treatment Ends TODAY

From Joy:

Reminder: Public Comment Period on Marcellus Waste Treatment Ends February 12th (deadline extended from 2/5). Email your comments to: RegComments@state.pa.us Subject line should read "Chapter 95 Wastewater Treatment Requirements" Include your name and address. There's still time! It's YOUR water!

I'm adding a repost with some background on the issue and some potential talking points. For the Sierra Club's take, http://alleghenysc.org/?p=1513

The EPA is considering changing the code to more explicitly control "dissolved solids" (read: toxic salts from untreated Marcellus Shale gas extraction water) in our rivers and groundwater. We predict there will also be pressure on them to actually weaken the rules instead, so this is not something that should happen on autopilot. For the official text, go here.

You can make public comment by e-mail, but you must follow the right format in the subject line. "Electronic Comments—Comments may be submitted electronically to the Board at RegComments@state.pa.us and must also be received by the Board by February 5, 2010. A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. If an acknowledgement of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt."

Talking Points:

Safe drinking water. (I feel mine's already starting to taste funny, and there is already untreated frac water entering the water supply upstream from us. If I can taste the sufates, that suggests the heavy metals are there too).

Do It Now. (No more drilling permits until the protections are in place).

Include the major components that frac water adds or leaches from the soil (heavy metals & arsenic, salts such as chlorides and sulfates and bromides and magnesium, organics such as benzene, and radium in any form).

And above all, No weakening of Total Dissolved Solids discharge standards! (The allowed levels are already high in the Mon, Yough, Conemaugh, and the West Branch of the Susuquehanna, impacting the water quality.)

Complain about shifting the costs to consumers and taxpayers by having to purify a much larger quantity of drinking water, instead of cleaning the frac water at its source.

Finally, ask that the fracwater be recorded and tracked as it comes out of the ground and is sent off for treatment, to prevent illegal dumping or "watering" of the surroundings. I personally would also like to also see a comparison of what goes in vs. what goes out, to know how much is seeping into our groundwater.

Before you hit "send," make sure you include your name and address, and check your subject line to make sure it says something like "Comment on proposal to amend 25 Pa. Code Chapter 95 (relating to Wastewater Treatment Requirements)."

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