To fully understand the issue of oil and gas waste disposal and reporting, readers deserve more context than what is provided in a recent editorial (“Dirty Numbers: Someone’s Account of Shale Waste Disposal is Way Off,” Sept. 3).
Like all industrial operations, shale development produces a certain amount of waste. Operators across Pennsylvania have made a commitment to safe and environmentally responsible practices for gathering and disposing of this waste. It is taken to landfills that use their own tightly regulated procedures to manage the materials and ensure minimal impact to the environment.
Part of the waste-disposal process includes a reporting system that is required by the agency that regulates landfill operations and our operations, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. While DEP’s waste department requires landfills to submit comprehensive reports about what kinds of materials our industry is sending to them for safe disposal — such as fluid, sand or sediment — DEP’s oil and gas department has another set of report forms that require us to submit different information.
It is understandable that the numbers in these reports would be different because of the varied requirements within the layers that regulate our industry. What is paramount to safe shale development is that information is shared, in order to ensure the environment is protected. This simply confirms that is exactly what is happening.
Marcellus Shale Coalition