Mine Drainage Used For Marcellus Well Fracking Water In Tioga County
Over a year ago, Hydro Recovery broke ground on its first manufacturing facility in Blossburg, Tioga County which began operations in June of this year.
Last week, company and state officials celebrated the breaking ground of a second facility, but this time, the new facility will create an even bigger win for the environment by treating up to 720,000 gallons per day of polluted acid mine drainage water.
Natural gas companies will use the treated AMD in fracturing wells, thus displacing their need to use fresh water. Like the Blossburg facility, this plant will also treat for 100 percent reuse drilling fluids and other wastewater from the exploration of natural gas.
“When we first came up with the concept of Hydro Recovery over three years ago, our goal was not only to provide a service to the natural gas industry, but also to make a difference and provide environmentally friendly alternatives for the exploration of natural gas,” said Neil Hedrick, founder and a Manager of the General Partner of Hydro Recovery. “Thanks to our customers and their stewardship of the Commonwealth’s water, we are proudly expanding.”
Mr. Hedrick also took the opportunity to more formally introduce the company’s new business partnership with Shaner Capital, LP.
“In a short period of time, Hydro Recovery has proven itself to be innovative and responsive to industry by building a strong relationship with its customers while maintaining its commitment to the environment,” said Lance Shaner, founder of the Shaner Group. “This is why Shaner Capital has partnered with the company and looks forward to breaking ground on many more plants to come.”
The Antrim Treatment Trust was established in the 1980s to provide treatment to the raw AMD water that flows out of an abandoned mine located in Duncan Township.
“Hydro Recovery has signed a lease agreement with the trust, ensuring the trust’s continued financial viability well into the future,” said John Stefanko, Deputy Secretary, Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations, Department of Environmental Protection. “The trust, which has long been underfunded, will be able to continue to treat the AMD discharge water long after the natural gas industry no longer has a need for it.”
“We all know how these difficult economic times have continued; however, thanks to the Marcellus Shale natural gas play, it is companies like Hydro Recovery who are investing in this Commonwealth and providing dozens of new jobs to area residents,” said State Senator Joseph Scarnati. “Not only will new jobs be created, but the facility will help to promote clean water and protect our environment, so it is a win-win situation.”
Tioga County Commissioner Erick Coolidge added that “the county has seen many changes since the exploration of the Marcellus Shale, some of those changes have presented some challenges to county residents, but some changes have provided good opportunities for economic growth.”
Coolidge also noted that, “this particular opportunity will help clean up our waterways from past environmental liabilities without ongoing taxpayer dollars.”
The Blossburg plant has already created over 20 jobs and this new plant in Antrim will create an additional 20-30 good paying jobs. Additional ancillary jobs will be created in the trucking, chemical and landfill businesses.
Hawbaker Engineering is serving as the Design-Build Contractor for the project, with support from Kaufman Engineering, Siemens Water Technologies, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. and G.M. McCrossin, Inc. M&T Bank is providing financing for the project.
Hydro’s new Antrim plant is expected to begin operations by the second quarter of 2012. When operating at full capacity, the plant will treat nearly 720,000 gallons of AMD water per day to be used by natural gas companies in fracturing wells. It will then use the byproduct from that treatment as a key component in its process to transform nearly 330,000 gallons of wastewater a day into clean, reusable ‘hydraulic stimulation fluid’, or HSF, for the drilling industry.
Hydro’s innovative process, developed in conjunction with Siemens Water Technologies, substantially reduces harmful contaminates from so called “frack water” and enables drillers to reuse the water. The “treated” water is processed into a product with specific parameters and then returned back to the drilling companies for future drilling.
By turning the dirty water into a product to be beneficially used, it cuts the amount of fresh water needed for the drilling process while also providing maximum protection for the gas reservoir.
"Shell sees the new AMD plant effluent as a win-win scenario, where the water quality in the Babb Creek watershed is maintained while also providing a potential water solution for our operations,” said Andrew K. Richmond, Shell Appalachia Water Resources Team Lead. “As an added benefit, the proximity of this new water supply to Shell’s operations presents a community health and safety opportunity. If an agreement with Hydro Recovery, LP is reached, Shell has the potential to reduce its overall truck traffic in Tioga County."
For more information, visit the Hydro Recovery LP website.
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