State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Environmental Groups Announce Intent to Sue Over Gas Drilling Discharge

The drilling of gas out of the Marcellus shale formation in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York is a hot button issue in both states at the moment.  One of the points against the process is water quality and contamination.


The process being used in the Marcellus shale is known as Hydrofracking involves the process of sending high-pressure stream of water and other chemicals into the ground to fracture the layers of shale and release natural gas.


A recent filling in a Pennsylvania court under the Clean Water Protection act looks to stop the discharge of Marcellus drilling waste water. The claim the injunction filed by a private citizen looks to halt the discharge of wastewater flowing from two local wastewater treatment plants in Allegheny and Greene County. The treated water from both of these plants ends up in the Monogahela River, which supplies water to portions of Pittsburg and other municipalities.


Although the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has consented to the release of wastewater from both of these plants which receive waste Marcellus waste water recent testing has show an large increase in total dissolved solids downstream of the plants that can be linked directly to the Marcellus drilling wastewater.


Despite this suite and the need for filtering out the increased TSDs  no plants servicing Marcellus drilling operations are able to remove contaminants up to the current standards.

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