Along a river or lake or ocean near you. The US Coast Guard has issued a set of proposed regulations that would allow frack waste – radioactive drill cuttings, toxic frack flowback, etc. to be transported by barge on any navigable waterway in the country – any river, lake or ocean. So far so bad. Catch is there are no standards, no monitoring, no inspection, no nothing as to what happens to that frack filth. So guess what happens ? The frack waste gets loaded onto a barge, the barge goes out into a lake or down a river and then when nobody is looking, the crew dumps the frackwaste overboard. Clever huh ? Who needs to spread that filth on a road as “de-icer”? Who needs to truck it to Idafrackingho to dump into a landfill ? Just fire up Tugboat Annie and head that load straight out to sea. Fish don’t vote.
From The Keith:
Just in time for Christmas, the United States Coast Guard has gift-wrapped a present for the gas industry: The waterways of America as a dumping ground for frack filth.
Object now to these inadequate rules proposed by the Coast Guard which would allow the transport of fracking wastewater by barge. As written, any navigable waters of the United States could be impacted (rivers, lakes, canals, bays, even coastal waters). These sweeping changes are not even being proposed as regulations, but instead as a “policy letter”, skipping right past normal federal requirements for environmental impact studies called for by NEPA (National Environmental Procedures Act). Glaring loopholes in the proposed policy mean that there is no certainty that toxic radioactive fracking waste will be tested, that records will ever be inspected, or that the waste will actually even get to its final destination for proper disposal. The Coast Guard even admits that its proposed policy letter is “not binding”. In other words, it can’t be enforced.
This from The Nicole
“The proposed Policy Letter states that SGEWW will be transported to “storage or reprocessing centers and final disposal sites.” (Minimum Acceptable Analysis, Policy Letter, Enclosure 1, Section 7.) However it does not provide any requirement for tracking or confirmation that the loads, which may contain toxic or radioactive material, are actually delivered to the intended treatment or disposal site. Thus it is possible that accidental or intentional dumping of extraction wastes may occur without detection. This risk is compounded by the possibility that the Policy Letter could apply to large bodies of water such as the Great Lakes or coastal waters where dumping would not be observable.”
Tell the USGS what you really think of their green-lighting frack waste dumping; can do so online here: Comment are due by November 27th.
An aside – when a SEDCO offshore rig blew up in the Bay of Campeche, the owner scuttled it before the Lloyd’s inspector could arrive to assess what happened. They claimed the damaged rig was a “navigational hazard” when in fact it was in a part of the Gulf that was riddled with offshore rigs at the time. So the mentality to make problems disappear at sea is endemic. We owned some rigs that were stacked in Sabine Pass on the Gulf coast. There was a hurricane headed that way and both my partner and I had the same idea: scuttle the rigs right before the hurricane hit and collect on the insurance. We didn’t do it, but that’s indicative of the mind set. Of course, I’m a different person now. Really. . .