DEP Secretary: New Rules Would Protect Wetlands

Sun Gazette

By David Thompson

Doing it right.

Proposed regulations setting stringent new standards for discharging gas drilling wastewater into streams and rivers are a necessary step in ensuring gas development in the Marcellus Shale is done in a way that preserves and protects Pennsylvania’s watersheds, state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said Friday during an editorial board visit at the Sun-Gazette.

Hanger called the proposed regulation “the single most important rule … protecting the environment” for decades to come.

The regulations require discharges from new or expanded wastewater treatment facilities to meet a concentration threshold of 500 milligrams of total dissolved solids – or salts – per liter for wastewater generated from gas drilling. The proposed standards mean discharged gas drilling wastewater must be at drinking water standards as it leaves the pipe and enters a waterway, Hanger said.

The regulations also include wastewater discharge limits from new or expanded treatment facilities other than those discharging gas industry fluids to be at 2,000 milligrams of total dissolved solids per liter, and new rules strengthening the state’s well construction standards. Read more

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