Defense Date

7-7-2021

Graduation Date

Summer 8-7-2021

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Environmental Science and Management (ESM)

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

John F. Stolz

Committee Member

Daniel J. Bain

Committee Member

Adam Gailey

Keywords

surface water, oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, fraking, radionuclides, landfill, leachate, wastewater, wastewater treatment

Abstract

Between January 2011 and March 2021 oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania produced

305,637,795 barrels of liquid waste and 6,992,957 tons of solid waste with the majority from

Marcellus Shale unconventional wells. This waste is not considered hazardous and over 89% of

the solid waste generated by unconventional and conventional oil and gas extraction has been

disposed of in landfills over the past decade. This study examined trends in the quantity of waste

produced and methods of disposal. Landfills accepting this waste were identified and their

general method of leachate treatment, using onsite facilities or offsite at wastewater treatment

plants, was investigated. Waterways where treated leachate was discharged were identified and

tested for water chemistry indicative of oil and gas waste. Downstream water chemistry was

impacted in 62.5% of the sites and the likelihood of impact increased at landfills that had

accepted large quantities or had taken the waste recently.

Language

English

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