From Exxon’s shale well next to a trout stream in the Delaware Valley. Since they cannot find any place in Pennsylvania to dump it, because it is too radioactive and their waste hauler just got hauled off to jail. Ohio is full up. West Virginia and Idafrackingho are too fracking far away. So it’s headed your way New Yorkers. If you see one of these bad boys coming down the road, best pull over. Getting toxic radioactive sludge off your car can be really really tough.
Look on the sunny side: Exxon is not proposing a tar pipeline through your town. Yet.
Exxon’s Frack Waste in New York
The first map shows the path that radioactive drill cuttings will take across New York’s southern tier. Detailed plans here:
The Exxon XTO shale well permit application is right next to a trout stream at the headwaters of the Delaware River. Under the proposed fracking regs. the well pad can be located immediately next to the trout stream and the well laterals can tunnel directly under the stream. What the frack could possibly go wrong with that ?
According to a May 1 report on timeonline.com, which covers Beaver County and western Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, a truckload of drill cuttings from a gas well in Greene County left Pennsylvania because it was too radioactive for landfills in the state. The state Department of Environmental Protection will this month begin testing for radiation related to fracking, including trucks used in hauling and pumping wastewater.’
From Cris McConkey:
And guess where leachate from the Broome County landfill is sent?
A: Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility by Cayuga Lake.
I know because I once followed a residual waste truck from Broome County to the Ithaca facility.
My take on this is that after Tompkins County closed the dump at the Langstrom Gravel site in West Danby in favor of the current bailing and transfer center that Casella now operates, leachate from the county’s own landfill was no longer processed, meaning that the waste water treatment plant now had excess capacity, so naturally they looked for leachate from other landfills to process. That is just my reasoning. I haven’t confirmed this with anyone.
Folks in Tompkins County really need to ask should the City of Ithaca, the Town of Ithaca, and Town of Dryden continue to allow leachate from Broome County to be processed here?
But note that the XTO Energy “Transportation Plan” maps “potential disposal sites”. i.e., they only have their sights on Broome County landfill. Last I knew, Broome County legislature passed a resolution that the landfill should accept no drilling waste. Of course that made Broome County seem (at least to me) disingenuous to be such a booster of shale gas’ alleged economic benefits while refusing to accept the waste.
The Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility (IAWWTF) is an Intermunicipal Agency, a successful example of cooperation between multiple municipalities. The IAWWTF is owned by three municipalities (The City of Ithaca, and the Towns of Ithaca and Dryden).
Action should be taken by the three municipalities listed above to pass resolutions stipulating that the acceptance of leachate from the Broome County landfill or any landfill is contingent on those landfills not accepting any drill cuttings or any other waste from shale gas drilling; that the municipalities wanting to contract with the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility for taking and processing leachate must at the minimum have an enforceable prohibition on accepting drill cuttings from shale gas drilling operations.
The first map suggests that XTO Energy has an intent to dispose their cuttings, and undoubtedly will make an attractive offer that cash strapped counties and municpalities may find hard to refuse. If those counties or municipalities know that they will have to truck their leachate elsewhere, that may raise the cost of going this route and if other communities follow suite, this could be a big discouragement to the designs of XTO Energy or any other Energy Company looking to use New York State as their dumping ground.
Of course it is already going on in Chemung County and Hyland Landfill in Angelica and Hakes Landfill in Cambell, NY (that is my understanding). Lets not allow this dumping to spread further.
The argument will be raised that the cuttings really are not that radioactive. Not true. See http://www.garyabraham.com/
But now we are hearing news reports of landfills in Pennslyvania rejecting drilling waste because it is too radioactive. Studies that indicate that the cuttings can’t be considered NORMs are based on samples that indeed may be less radioactive that cutting from other wells. The Marcellus shale is not uniform; I’ve heard that in many presentations. The prudent thing to do is to prohibit leachate from landfills that accept this waste from being treated and discharged into our lakes, rivers and streams.
There is also the water withdrawl issue that Bill is focusing on. Do we have protections against water withdrawals? Who has jurisdiction? SRBC for the entire basin? Cayuga Lake outlet is north, eventually to the St. Lawrence. Not in the Susquehanna River basin. What can local governements do and what can’t they do in the regard? –Cris”
They can refuse the fracking waste. It’s illegal to dump this stuff on roads in Texas as “de-icer” It’s illegal to dump it in municipal treatment plants in Texas. Tell the frackers to put it where the sun don’t shine.