Earthworks’ New Report, Interactive Map Tracks Disposal Of 380 Million Barrels Of PA Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater, Including Road Dumping

On September 11, Earthworks issued a new report documenting a 1,500 percent increase in the volume of toxic, often radioactive waste generated by Pennsylvania oil and gas operations between 2003 and 2018 and an interactive map showing where that waste was sent.

Earthworks calculates that in 2018 alone, the fracking boom generated 69 million barrels of liquid waste [each barrel is 42 gallons] and 1.4 million tons of solid waste, a 20 percent increase in liquid and 35 percent increase in solid waste from 2017.

“How much of that fracking waste is coming to a facility near you?” asks Melissa Troutman, author of the PA Frack Waste report. “The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Waste Map gives anyone access to information on the 380 billion of barrels of liquid waste [each barrel is 42 gallons] and 9.5 million tons of solid waste sent to landfills, injection wells, and public facilities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York since 2011.”

The new online map identifies more than 1,100 sites processing fracking waste in multiple states and allows citizens to see the amount of waste taken each year at facilities near their home or school and disposed of in their watershed. Most of this waste is also transported on public roads.

“On Friday, August 23, a tanker truck carrying wastewater crashed and spilled in Elizabeth, PA, near the Youghiogheny River,” said Troutman. “The fracking boom put almost 15,000 of these tanker trucks on our roads in 2018, and that number is increasing by the year.”

The new report is based on a comprehensive review of oil and gas waste data that is sent to the state by oil and gas companies as well as the municipal and private waste disposal facilities that receive liquid and solid fracking waste.

Earthworks documents that fracking waste contains carcinogens, secret fracking chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive materials.

Case studies in the report show how regulatory loopholes exempt the industry from hazardous waste laws and hide the ingredients in fracking waste, which makes treatment and disposal of this dangerous waste difficult. Testing and reporting, where it does happen, can be inaccurate.

Using the Waste Map: Earthworks and FracTracker Alliance created the interactive Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Waste Map using Department of Environmental Protection data to allow users to search and see how much oil and gas waste is being processed, transported, and disposed near them each year since 2011.

Zoom the map to your home, school, business, etc. by clicking the magnifying glass under the zoom tool and typing a street address.

Click on specific individual dots on the map to see the amount of waste a facility near you has accepted from PA oil and gas operations between 2011-2018.

Click inside a watershed boundary to show how much oil and gas waste is being processed and disposed of in your watershed.

Visit the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Waste Map to learn more.

Road Dumping Of Drilling Wastewater

In spite of certain prohibitions, the road dumping of drilling wastewater from conventional oil and gas drilling operations is still going on.

A study released in May documented the dumping of over 240.4 million gallons of wastewater on roads in Pennsylvania between 1991 and 2017.

Click Here for a background article and interactive map from the FracTracker Alliance on this issue.

The new Earthworks report also highlights the issue of road dumping of drilling wastewater, including legislation in the House and Senate to legalize the practice. (report page 17)

For more information on the report and the interactive map, visit the Earthworks Blog.  Questions should be directed to Melissa Troutman by calling 202-887-1872×132 or send email to:


Siri's Saga For Justice Fighting The Disposal Of Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater On Roads

Frazier: How Did Gas Drilling Wastewater End Up In Monongahela River? A Loophole In Law Might Be To Blame

Related Articles:

New Study Tracks Liquid, Solid Waste From Conventional, Unconventional Oil & Gas Development In PA From Generation To Disposal

Conventional Oil & Gas Industry Has A Major Goal In 2019-- To Restore Program To Spread Waste Water From Wells On Roads

Op-Ed: The Story Behind Stopping Conventional Oil & Gas Brine Spreading On Dirt Roads

Op-Ed: Will Our Dirt Roads Again Be Used As Dumping Sites For Oil & Gas Well Wastewater

Penn State: Potential Health Impacts Of Oil and Gas Wastewater On Roads

Oil & Gas Well Brines For Dust Control On Unpaved Roads - Part I- Ineffectiveness

Penn State Study: Using Oil & Gas Well Brine As Dust Suppressant Less Than Ideal

Related Articles This Week:

PUC Investigating Subsidence Involving Several Pipelines Near Site Of Sunoco Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction In Delaware County

DEP Orders Sunoco To Cover Exposed Natural Gas Liquids, Other Petroleum Pipelines At 43 Locations Across The State

Court: Sen. Dinniman Did Not Have Standing To Bring A Complaint To PUC Over Mariner East Pipeline Construction Failures

[Posted: September 11, 2019]


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