Gas Drilling Wastewater to be used on Roads in New York

ALBANY, NY – Municipalities in New York, including areas in Steuben and Chemung counties, are re-using wastewater from natural gas drilling for highway and road maintenance, according to a report released by Toxics Targeting, an Ithaca-based environmental database firm.

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation says the wastewater is safe, but critics argue it just isn’t so.

Wastewater from natural gas drilling often includes high levels of dissolved liquids, chlorides, heavy metals, and radioactive material. The water is pumped far underground, where pressure is used to create fissures in the Marcellus Shale, which releases natural gas. The problem say critics, is that the wastewater brought back to the surface contains poisons.

Opponents of natural gas drilling across the country and Pennsylvania have fought for several years to contain the wastewater. Pennsylvania recently announced the water would no longer be treated at conventional treatment plants, because they could not properly eradicate the harmful substances from the water.

New York plans to use the wastewater as a de-icer and to keep dust levels down on dirt roads.

For a full report of the findings go to


For a map go to

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