TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

New use for mine drainage

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Tribune-Review

Published: Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The news story “Mine drainage cleanup in Western Pa. an expensive, slow process” (Jan. 20 and TribLIVE.com) detailed a long-standing problem in the state. There's an exciting new development in regulations for restoring the state's polluted streams from abandoned mine drainage (AMD): a change in liability for natural gas operators to use AMD in hydraulic fracturing.

AMD is caused by historic mining practices, which were unregulated until the 1970s.

Hydraulic fracturing requires injecting millions of gallons of water for each well into the Earth below the freshwater table. Some of the water is recycled, some is trucked in and some is from nearby water supplies with extensive environmental precautions in place.

In the past, natural gas operators opted not to use AMD for their water needs due to extensive treatment requirements dictating maintenance after they were finished using it. The newly released guidance from the state Department of Environmental Protection removes previous regulatory hurdles for natural gas operators as they incorporate a beneficial reuse of AMD.

Pennsylvania has more miles of AMD-damaged streams than any other state. Natural gas companies are ready to take blighted resources damaged in the past and turn them into cleaner, greener natural resources — benefiting the many communities affected by AMD.

Ed Reese

The writer is a vice president in the Robinson office of the Lancaster-based engineering consulting firm RETTEW Associates Inc. (rettew.com).

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Tragedy sensationalized
  2. No basis for NRA criticism III
  3. No basis for NRA criticism II
  4. No basis for NRA criticism I
  5. Respect for vets
  6. Voting rights bill
  7. Knives vs. guns II
  8. Fayette County business as usual?
  9. She’ll be missed
  10. Ruling good for Pa.
  11. Gas drilling’s benefits
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.