I said I wasn't going to post much about fracking in Pennsylvania, but this was too big to pass up:
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Citing potentially unsafe drinking water, Pennsylvania called on companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation to stop taking wastewater to 15 treatment plants by May 19.
Tuesday's announcement was a major change in the state's regulation of gas drilling and came the same day that an industry group said it now believes drilling wastewater is partly at fault for rising levels of bromide being found in Pittsburgh-area rivers.
Gas drilling that uses millions of gallons of chemical-laden water has rapidly grown in the past three years in Pennsylvania.
In other major gas-drilling states, drilling wastewater is kept out of rivers largely by injecting it deep underground into disposal wells. But in Pennsylvania, some drilling wastewater is treated by sewer authorities, largely in western Pennsylvania, and discharged into rivers.
Those wastewater plants, however, are ill-equipped to remove all the pollutants, and Pennsylvania still allows hundreds of millions of gallons of the partially treated wastewater to be discharged into rivers from which communities draw drinking water.
The state Department of Environmental Protection cited elevated levels of bromide in rivers in western Pennsylvania in its announcement. More.