Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
environmental, water quality, oil and gas, wastewater disposal
The dramatic increase in oil and gas drilling operations in Pennsylvania over the last decade has presented a challenge for their wastewater disposal (e.g., flowback, produced water). Currently, these fluids are treated in permitted brine treatment plants or exported out of state to deep injection well facilities. In Pennsylvania, road brining for dust control is permitted for conventional well brines, and permits for three injection wells for unconventional brines are pending. This study focused on water quality impacts due to road brining in Farmington Township (45 samples) and ground and surface water in Grant Township (41 samples) prior to the operation of the injection well. Analysis of 2016 brine application data suggested non-compliance due to replicative application of the same road by multiple companies. Testing detected elevated chloride levels in a roadside stream. The Grant Township samples revealed high quality in general, however 19 groundwater samples had pH below 6.5.
Madia, M. (2018). Environmental Assessment of Road Brining and Injection Wells for Disposal of Oil and Gas Liquid Waste (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1423