COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120
DEP PUBLISHES DRAFT PERMIT
FOR TREATMENT PLANT ON WEST BRANCH SUSQUEHANNA RIVER
30-Day Public Comment Period Opened May 2; Permit Would Allow
TerrAqua Resource Management to Treat 400,000 Gallons Per Day
4 May 2009 WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection
has published the first draft discharge permit for a gas well
wastewater treatment plant on the West Branch Susquehanna River
under the state’s new permitting strategy to TerrAqua Resource
Management LLC of Williamsport, Lycoming County.
The draft permit was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on May 2
for a 30-day public comment period. DEP will make a final decision
on the permit after reviewing all public comments.
“When approved, this permit will establish specific treatment
parameters for gas well drilling wastewater, which includes frac
water, brine water and drill water,” said DEP Northcentral Regional
Director Robert Yowell.
“These parameters will include
a monthly variable limit on total dissolved solids, or salt, as
measured in pounds per day.”
DEP’s permitting strategy for high total dissolved solids announced
in the middle of April includes interim and final strategies.
The final strategy, effective Jan. 1, 2011, establishes an average
monthly limit of 500 parts per million for total dissolved solids
and 250 parts per million for chlorides and sulfates.
The interim strategy consists of a plan to allocate a portion of the
remaining assimilative capacity of the West Branch Susquehanna River
for total dissolved solids among 10 proposed dischargers.
A detailed DEP study done
earlier this year concluded that about 980,000 pounds per day of
assimilative capacity remains for total dissolved solids on the West
TerrAqua’s draft discharge permit allows between 54,412 and 522,245
pounds per day of total dissolved solids to be discharged to the
The amount is lowest in the
summer months when flows are typically lower and temperatures
higher, and highest in late winter when flows are normally highest
and temperatures cooler.
The permit allows a maximum of 400,000 gallons per day of typical
well drilling wastewater to be treated and discharged from a
facility to be constructed on the Water Tower Square property in
“TerrAqua also will need DEP to review and approve a separate Water
Quality Management permit for the treatment technology and
construction of the plant,” said Yowell.
“That application has not yet
DEP expects half of the remaining 10 discharge permit applications
for the West Branch to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by
the end of May, and the remainder by the end of June.
The department issued a record 7,792 well drilling permits in 2008,
including 353 in the Marcellus Shale.
For more information,
website, keyword: Marcellus shale.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA