Processing Magazine

Connecticut environmental groups call for ban on fracking wastewater

March 6, 2014

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Connecticut may impose a ban on storing and recycling wastewater generated as a byproduct of natural gas operations if lawmakers decide to move ahead with a proposed bill, the Associated Press reported.

State authorities are pondering the ban just a year after Connecticut approved an expansion of allowed usage of natural gas as a cheaper alternative to heating oil. However, the state is also looking to make sure that there is no risk to the environment and to public health related to exposure to fracking wastewater.

Various environmental groups have supported several bills that aim to make certain that Connecticut will not be exposed to wastewater from fracking operations. Environmentalists claim that fracking wastewater is highly toxic because of the chemicals added to the fracking fluid and that wastewater treatment plants are incapable of treating it safely.

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A spokesman for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, which supports the restrictions, commented that buying or importing natural gas does not mean that Connecticut has an obligation to help safely dispose of the wastewater.

There is little likelihood of natural gas companies transporting natural gas production wastewater into Connecticut from Pennsylvania or elsewhere, industry representatives have said.

However, according to Steve Guveyan, executive director of the Connecticut Petroleum Council, introducing such a ban would be somewhat disingenuous. It suggests that on the one hand the state wants to expand its natural gas pipeline network but at the same time lawmakers want to have others "clean up the mess," the Associated Press said.