Technically yes. It is. Several hundred million year old seawater laced with poisonous chemicals and unusually radioactive. Produced water, which is pumped out of the well after the frack, is euphemistically referred to as “brine” by the DEC. As in “We are going to dump brine on your road as a de-icer.” Or “How would you like some brine for your municipal wastewater treatment plant ?” (Both illegal in Texas) So the definition of produced water, aka brine, is kind of important. Here’s how the DEC defines it in their proposed fracking regulations:
“§550.3 (f), “Brine is synonymous with salt water.” The related definition of salt water, formerly §550.3 (at) but now re-designated (av), states: “Salt water shall mean any water containing more than 250 parts per million of sodium chloride or 1,000 parts per million of total dissolved solids.”
By that definition, “any water” includes produced water from a shale gas well. “These two sentences constitute the only descriptions of flowback fluids, production brines, organic chemical condensates, or any other process waste water in the entire canon of definitions in Section 550.3.”
The DEC nicely mollifies and obfuscates the toxicity of produced water by equating it to something as benign as “salt water.” Maybe Doc Martens can demo that by gargling with some produced water at the Assembly Hearing. Or boil up some crawfish in some fracking flowback.
Of course, according to investigative reporter Myna Bird Navarro, New York already has “the tightest drilling regulations in the country.” Even though they haven’t changed much in 40 years. I daresay you’d have to be pretty darn tight with the frack flaks to write that. Or just plain tight. Maybe she’d like some brine from a shale gas well for her next batch of pickles ?
Alas, we really cannot make up how bad these proposed fracking regulation really are. To that end have added Keith ‘s, Lou’s and Ron’s snail mail responses to the SourceWatch wiki site on the proposed fracking regulations. Get those comments in.
Dolphin attempting to escape