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Sewage Plants Struggle To Treat Fracking Wastewater

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the who-needs-water-anyway dept.

Earth 264

MTorrice writes "When energy companies extract natural gas trapped deep underground using hydraulic fracturing, they're left with water containing high levels of pollutants, including benzene and barium. Sometimes the gas producers dispose of this fracking wastewater by sending it to treatment plants that deal with sewage and water from other industrial sources. But a new study (abstract) suggests that the plants can't handle this water's high levels of contaminants: Water flowing out of the plants into the environment still has elevated levels of the chemicals from natural gas production."

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Externalities Rule (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216469)

Pollution rears its ugly rear.

Re:Externalities Rule (5, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43216627)

This one is particularly easy to fix - make them pay for upgrades to the plants.

Re:Externalities Rule (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#43216775)

Or make them put it in deep injection wells like we do in Ohio, it's probably the ONLY part of Ohio's approach I agree with (does not apply in geologically active areas since it can set off earthquakes).

Re:Externalities Rule (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216831)

"does not apply in geologically active areas since it can set off earthquakes"

Like where the majority of the oil is?

Thanks for the help.

Re:Externalities Rule (0)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#43216845)

From the anecdotal news I see, injecting used fracking water underground seems to turn any area into a geologically active area. See: DFW, North Dakota, Pennsylvania.

Re:Externalities Rule (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217227)

Casings frequently leak. Putting it through a hole, passing through the water table we depend on for drinking water as well as water for our farm animals and crops, is not a good thing.

Re:Externalities Rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216883)

Yeah and who cares how many jobs this costs, right COMRADE?

Re:Externalities Rule (2)

brian0918 (638904) | about a year ago | (#43216927)

An easier fix: privatize the waterways. Then if you pollute the water, and the property owner can demonstrate harm, they can take you to court.

Re:Externalities Rule (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43216961)

Which means they will just choose to only pollute the water ways of the poor, or just make it hard to prove it is them doing it.

Privatizing the waterways would make this worse.

Re:Externalities Rule (4, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#43217049)

Then the government could claim Eminent Domain to take the waterways away and give them to the power companies. Everybody (with enough money to buy politicians) wins!

Re:Externalities Rule (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43216999)

This one is particularly easy to fix - make them pay for upgrades to the plants.

Good luck with that, they can't get the coal plants to install the scrubbers that are required by law. All they have to do is whine about lost profits and Congress runs for cover like cockroaches from light. We need to start enforcing the laws instead of doing things like exempting oil and gas from the clean water act.

Re:Externalities Rule (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43217167)

The real answer is to fill the CEO's swimming pool with it. If it fills up, fill the bathtub, kitchen sink, etc finally, just water his lawn with the rest.

I'll bet if we implemented a lottery system where that would happen at random, that water would be sparkling clean coming out of the plants no matter what the cost.

Re:Externalities Rule (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217037)

What?!?!? Why allow that when you can just shut the frackers down.

After all, that's the real goal of the article.

Funny title (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216471)

That FRACKING wastewater!

Re:Funny title (0)

W. Justice Black (11445) | about a year ago | (#43217215)

Frack that, you motherfracker. This whole story makes me want to go frack something up. ...or maybe I just need a good fracking.

Flouride.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216475)

While they struggle to clean the water of benzene and barium, they continue to feed you Flouride [la.org.au] and humanity eats it willingly; one of the most deadly neuro-toxins known to man .

Until we rid Fluoride from the natural H20 water supply articles like this will be a complete fucking joke..

Re:Flouride.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216575)

Yes, they are messing with your essential fluids with this! Darn Commies!

In case you don't get the reference.. You need to see Dr Strangelove.

Re:Flouride.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216787)

Precious bodily fluids, get it right.

Re:Flouride.. (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43216601)

Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.

Re:Flouride.. (2)

thebigmacd (545973) | about a year ago | (#43216671)

Fluoride is a naturally occurring component of ground water.

Re:Flouride.. (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43217279)

So are commies. They're everywhere.

Re:Flouride.. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#43216869)

deadly neurotoxin? Posh posh. People willingly inject far more dangerous neurotoxins [wikipedia.org] all the time.

Re:Flouride.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216933)

Of, for fuck's sake...

Fluoride salts are used to enhance the strength of teeth by the formation of fluorapatite, a naturally occurring component of tooth enamel.[8][9] Although sodium fluoride is also used to fluoridate water and, indeed, is the standard by which other water-fluoridation compounds are gauged, hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and its salt sodium hexafluorosilicate (Na2SiF6) are more commonly used additives in the U.S.[10] Toothpaste often contains sodium fluoride to prevent cavities.[11] Alternatively, sodium fluoride is used as a cleaning agent, e.g. as a "laundry sour".[7] A variety of specialty chemical applications exist in synthesis and extractive metallurgy. It reacts with electrophilic chlorides including acyl chlorides, sulfur chlorides, and phosphorus chloride.[12] Like other fluorides, sodium fluoride finds use in desilylation in organic synthesis. The fluoride is the reagent for the synthesis of fluorocarbons.

The lethal dose for a 70 kg (154 lb) human is estimated at 5–10 g.[7] Sodium fluoride is classed as toxic by both inhalation (of dusts or aerosols) and ingestion.[13] In high enough doses, it has been shown to affect the heart and circulatory system.

Consumption of large amounts of caffeine – usually more than 250 mg per day – can lead to a condition known as caffeinism. Caffeinism usually combines caffeine dependency with a wide range of unpleasant physical and mental conditions including nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations after caffeine use.[18]

It takes five to ten THOUSAND times as much sodium flouride to do what coffee will. That 5-10 grams? Swallow ONE gram of benzine and see what happens to you.

Sorry, dork, your tinfoil hat tea party sites may swallow your bullshit, but there are a few here at slashdot who are a little better educated. How about you leave, and go back to NASCAR.com or wherever the hell you came from.

Who gave whoever modded that idiot up mod points????

Re:Flouride.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216963)

Its good for your teeth boy, so shut up and drink your water...

Re:Flouride.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217015)

Put down the half-witted, big brother scare tactics. The study you quoted is flawed on so many levels and irrelevant to most of the modern world. The US and Australia do not use Sodium Fluoride, an easily absorbed salt. They use hexafluorosilicic acid and hexafluorosilicate. Neither of these pass the brain/blood barrier or enter the BECF. the only danger is when it evaporates in LARGE quantities and produces Hydrogen Fluoride gas. At a concentration of 1-12 PPM, it is incapable of producing anywhere near enough HF gas.

Re:Flouride.. (2, Funny)

ddd0004 (1984672) | about a year ago | (#43217085)

I see they've gotten to you too. This goes a lot deeper than I thought.

Adama must've... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216491)

...made Tigh the project lead.

Re:Adama must've... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217217)

LOL. Cheers.

Re:Adama must've... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217249)

I read this and thought "Why? I always thought Tigh was a solid upstanding officer who worked hard and managed projects well while caring about his troops, and was doing well for himself, especially as a man of color on TV in the 70's..."

Then I thought "oh, the OTHER Tigh." And now i feel sad at how old I am.

Do your fraking job (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216497)

Oh boo hoo you work at a fraking wastewater plant, treat the fraking wastewater don't whine about it.

Re:Do your fraking job (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#43216751)

RTFA - they are and the treatment plant can't handle that level of wate. Try again genius.

Re:Do your fraking job (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about a year ago | (#43216813)

But what if the entire story and point of the article is... they can't do their job right now? Is it not worth knowing that the fraking wastewater isn't being treated at these places?

Nothing to see. (5, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43216509)

Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too. When they canceled the project it almost did me in. One day my mind was full to bursting. The next day - nothing. Swept away. But I showed them. I had a lobotomy in the end. Friend of mine had one. Designer of the neutron bomb. You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people - leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It's so small, no one knows it's there until - BLAMMO. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead. So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again.

Re:Nothing to see. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216629)

"Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year."

What an idiot. You are not of a scientific background whatsoever.

Re:Nothing to see. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216667)

Whooosh

Re:Nothing to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216711)

Next you're going to tell me John Wayne wasn't gay.

Re:Nothing to see. (4, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43216891)

John Wayne, oddly enough did perform in the last movie Howard Hughes made which was called "The Conqueror."

It's relevant here because they chose a site that was downwind from a nuclear test site. There are pictures that exist of John Wayne holding a Geiger counter on set.

As IMDB notes: As of November 1980, 91 of the 220 cast and crew members had developed cancer. Forty-six had died, including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz (who shot himself soon after learning he had terminal cancer), Agnes Moorehead, John Hoyt and director Dick Powell. The count did not include several hundred local Native Americans who played extras, or relatives of the cast and crew who visited the set, including John Wayne's son Michael Wayne.
--
I know my posts are good because of all the "Overrated" mods...

Re:Nothing to see. (1, Redundant)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43216893)

John Wayne, oddly enough did perform in the last movie Howard Hughes made which was called "The Conqueror."

It's relevant here because they chose a site that was downwind from a nuclear test site. There are pictures that exist of John Wayne holding a Geiger counter on set.

As IMDB notes: As of November 1980, 91 of the 220 cast and crew members had developed cancer. Forty-six had died, including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz (who shot himself soon after learning he had terminal cancer), Agnes Moorehead, John Hoyt and director Dick Powell. The count did not include several hundred local Native Americans who played extras, or relatives of the cast and crew who visited the set, including John Wayne's son Michael Wayne.

Re:Nothing to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216965)

Fucking slashdot. What the hell has happened to Slashcode???

Re:Nothing to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216773)

What an idiotic movie to quote. You are not of a movie critic background whatsoever!

This is a serious issue, you quote the China Syndrome:

Evan Mc Cormack: Scram the son of a bitch.

Re:Nothing to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217285)

What kind of car does your friend drive?

BIG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216527)

FRACKING SURPRISE!

Unemployed? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216529)

http://money.msn.com/investing/unemployed-go-to-north-dakota-cnbc.aspx

"The state's unemployment rate recently hovered a little above 3%, and "Help Wanted" signs litter the landscape of cities such as Williston in the way "For Sale" signs populate the streets of Las Vegas.

"It's a zoo," said Terry Ayers, who came to town from Spokane, Wash., slept in his truck and found a job within hours of arrival, tripling his salary. "It's crazy what's going on out here."

Billions of dollars are coming into the state and thousands of people are following -- all because millions of barrels of oil are flowing out.

Search for North Dakota jobs on Bing

North Dakota jobs

The result: An old-fashioned oil boom."

Employment, what socialism cannot do. This, great, so build better and more efficient waste processing facilities. Win win win.

Fuck socialism.

Re:Unemployed? (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43216841)

Even if your thesis were correct, extraction industries are among the least compelling examples you could choose:

Historically, even your hardcore actually-in-Soviet-Russia-not-as-in-joking-about-it communists successfully managed to run big mining and drilling towns(if anything, more people might have been employed due to questionable capital allocation and lower available tech levels). Minerals are like nature's subsidies, you can get net-positive energy output just for digging a hole in the ground! If the situation is structured so that you don't internalize the externalities, even better.

There are a few ways to fuck up a local extraction boom: if the resource in question doesn't ship well, you are at the mercy of regional demand and sometimes things are so bad that people just don't want what you dig up. If the resource does ship well, you can end up with a situation where(by either market or state coercion, it's been done both ways) the locals end up living in the tailings pile and the surplus value gets shipped out(see also Appalachian coal country, the Niger Delta, Zambian central province, etc.). Finally, you can either exhaust your mine, or get scooped by somebody else who has a much higher quality one(England, for instance, isn't exactly a coal-mining power anymore).

If you want to talk the virtues of capitalist enterprise, try something with a much more complex supply chain, returns to innovation, need for a keen grasp of customer demands, and no history of communists pulling it off. Seriously.

Re:Unemployed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217179)

"Even if your thesis were correct"

Uh huh, let's start with that. Obama is a big government socialist, as are the Democrats running congress and functionally, the Republican leadership.

Unemployment is flat, and frankly under-reported, numbers coming from the state and media are fudged and you know it. Real unemployment is in the 20% range, welfare, SSI and disability at record levels and again, you know it.

So my thesis is correct.

Now you can argue the details and I am sure you will do your little socialist dance to try and fudge the numbers but it doesn't wash. Obama is not Bush 2.0, and for that matter Bush was a big government overspending disaster also. You want to pretend unemployment is not up, you just go ahead and believe it, but keep it to yourself, no one serious actually believes you. Of course, it's down in North Dakota, and that's a fact, not a fucking thesis.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/10/11/obamas-real-unemployment-rate-is-14-7-and-a-recessions-on-the-way/

Re:Unemployed? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43216913)

Corporate Socialism, of course, is AOK!

Re:Unemployed? (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#43216953)

An old-fashioned oil boom.

Don't fall too much in love with booms. Let's not ignore that the other end of any such boom is a bust. Entire towns, or even cities can spring up and, perhaps within a decade, end up as ghost towns when the jobs vanish along with the resource. It also doesn't have anything to do with socialism vs capitalism. When a natural resource is exploited and people are needed to do the work, jobs are created regardless of what system you're working under.

Make the drilling companies executives drink it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216553)

Very simple way to make sure companies keep waste water clean:

Any company messing with water should be required to have the companies executives regularly drink from the waste water stream.

This is effectivly done in all cities, in that the next city down river drinks the waste water from the city upstream.

Re:Make the drilling companies executives drink it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216615)

I think John Travolta tried that

Re:Make the drilling companies executives drink it (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43216807)

This is effectivly done in all cities, in that the next city down river drinks the waste water from the city upstream.

So it's not actually "effectively done" since no one is actually drinking their own waste water.

Re:Make the drilling companies executives drink it (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about a year ago | (#43216977)

Actually, in most cases we'd be better off treating our waste water and putting it right back in the drinking supply since municipal (not industrial) waste water effluent is cleaner than the bodies of water we are discharging to. Unfortunately people have this 'ick' factor with drinking their own former poo/pee despite it being cleaner than drinking our own poo/pee mixed with large quantities of nature's pollution.

Formula for success (5, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#43216589)

How to be successful:
* Socialize the risks
* Privatize the profits

Even commercial car washes have limits on pollutants they pass forward to water treatment plants. I guess someone just conveniently forgot to include these energy companies.

Re:Formula for success (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43216859)

* Socialize the risks
* Privatize the profits

very true. Ever asked yourself why are people able to socialise the risks? Think about what it means, to socialise the risks. It means that the property rights are not enforced. It also means that government owns so called "public property" and it doesn't care about it, so this is the huge way for corporations to be able to socialise risks by using "public property" to do business there. There shouldn't be any "public property", it's an oxymoron, but if there is such a thing, then nobody should be allowed to profit from it, to do business and use it for business.

All property where business is done must be private. If a corporation is doing business on its own property, then it the "externalities" are between the corporation and private property owners around it and "public property" around it as well, and private property must be protected for the system to work, and "public property" should not be an avenue to socialise costs, so there cannot be any way for a private property owner to shift his costs to the "public property".

2 private property owners can come to an agreement among each other, it's their business, but if one violates the rights of the other, there should be a recourse.

A private property owner and "public property" shouldn't even be able to enter into such an agreement. Either give up on the very idea that there is such thing as "public property" or ensure that nobody can dump their shit on it.

Instead government does things like creating moral hazards by passing laws like 75Million USD liability cap on deep water drilling (while denying companies ability to drill in the shallow waters near the shore). So don't allow a company to drill on public property at all, and if it drills anywhere, ensure that it gets its drilling rights from private property. Have an auction where people would bid on the land and own it, but they would have to buy it at a market rate, and then ensure that they can't dump their shit on "public property" but let other private owners to deal with the private agreements.

Re:Formula for success (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43217029)

Great, now I can buy land, pollute the shit out of it and ruin for future generations. All without a worry for the law.

Re:Formula for success (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43217373)

Of-course, it's your land. As long as your pollution stays on it and doesn't cross to the neighbouring property owners.

Re:Formula for success (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43217131)

There shouldn't be any "public property", it's an oxymoron, but if there is such a thing, then nobody should be allowed to profit from it, to do business and use it for business.

You have a strangely restrictive idea of who should be allowed to have property rights. If the duly elected representatives of the people determine that is prudent to, for example, build a highway, why should they not be able to purchase the land on which to build it and to operate the highway as the think best for their constituents? You see, if the road were privatized, there is a strong possibility that the highway would never be built at all, and that the owner would seek to maximize his own profit rather than promote the welfare of the general population.

The idea of public property has existed since at least Roman times. To eliminate public property is as much a fantasy as to eliminate private property, and equally misguided.

Re:Formula for success (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43217369)

This Libertarian speaks the truth. The courts have so far proved fully adequate at protecting private property and the health of individuals and their livestock when affected by pollution. There is no political derision directed at the concept of externalities, and the harm of externalities can be precisely measured, and the threat of litigation has been an excellent deterrent preventing pollution in the first place, far more effective than legislation and regulation. So there is really no reason why we shouldn't adopt this radical ideology, because it has never failed.

Re:Formula for success (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216917)

Of course for those of you slashdot socialists who cannot read there is this from TFA.

"Scientists hadn’t definitively pinpointed fracking waste as the source of this pollution. In general, researchers haven’t studied how fracking wastewater affects the quality of water leaving sewage plants."

Maybe it's just me but that does seem important.

And more:

"Carl Kirby, a professor of geology at Bucknell University who studies the environmental impact of Marcellus Shale gas production, says the human health impact of elevated contaminant levels from processed fracking water is unclear, because the water the team sampled is not used directly as drinking water."

Uh huh.

So you want to say more study is needed to draw a conclusion fine, I will go along with that. But until then the assumption is *not* that "these energy companies" are freely allowed to pass water on to treatment plants with no limits whatsoever, which is what you imply.

Call me crazy, but I'd prefer to wait to see the actual, you know, EVIDENCE.

Re:Formula for success (3, Informative)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43217067)

How to be successful: * Socialize the risks * Privatize the profits

Even commercial car washes have limits on pollutants they pass forward to water treatment plants. I guess someone just conveniently forgot to include these energy companies.

Bush Jr, he exempted them from the clean water act. They can legally dump then it's the city and county's problem.

Re:Formula for success (1)

Artraze (600366) | about a year ago | (#43217147)

Thanks for that disestablishmentarian boilerplate, but last time I checked, waste water treatment wasn't "socialized" at all; you pay for it just like water.

If your point regards the "cost" of having elevated metals in the treated water (which is emphatically not drinking water), then the problem lies in the fact that the sewage treatment they are paying for is inadequate in the eyes of a few people. If that needs to be addressed, then it needs to be addressed as better standards for industrial waste water treatment. Whether that then means that the treatment plant charges more or mandates limits on pollutants is immaterial. It's not socialized regardless.

The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (5, Insightful)

Eugriped3z (1549589) | about a year ago | (#43216645)

So that simple-minded corporations won't confuse themselves wondering if it might be cheaper to risk getting caught.

There's no excuse for allowing energy companies, some of the most profitable in existence to off-load (externalize) the cost of their operations and subsidize their profits by burdening public utilities with the clean up expense, especially when those facilities were never intended to deal with substances like those used in the 'proprietary mixtures' that fracking companies have protected from the prying eyes of the public.

Setting standards that require these morons to clean up their own mess, and attaching penalties for failure that put violartors out of business is the only thing U.S. corporations understand.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (5, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43216721)

Fines don't do it. Jailtime for CEOs would. My rule of thumb- any crime bad enough to be fined a 100K dollars should include 6 months of jailtime for a CxO or the president of the board of directors. For every 100K after that, add 6 months for another of them. No parole. THAT would get companies to clean up their act.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#43216857)

Fines don't do it.

Agreed. If that were effective, BP would be really hurting right now.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216895)

How about similar sentences courts are handing out for file sharing?

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#43217089)

How about similar sentences courts are handing out for file sharing?

If file sharing is linked to poisoning thousands for profit, sure.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (4, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#43216937)

Fines don't do it. Jailtime for CEOs would. My rule of thumb- any crime bad enough to be fined a 100K dollars should include 6 months of jailtime for a CxO or the president of the board of directors. For every 100K after that, add 6 months for another of them. No parole. THAT would get companies to clean up their act.

No, it would merely limit fines actually imposed to $99,999.99 ;-)

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43216973)

Not nearly enough. Every investor needs to share responsibility.

You cannot finance an operation and have no liability towards who it kills/effects.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217057)

Fines don't do it. Jailtime for CEOs would.

Not in White Collar prisons either, put them in state blue collar prisons and let the population know they put things into the bodies of children. After all, partial truth works for them don't it?

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43217111)

Fines don't do it. Jailtime for CEOs would. My rule of thumb- any crime bad enough to be fined a 100K dollars should include 6 months of jailtime for a CxO or the president of the board of directors. For every 100K after that, add 6 months for another of them. No parole. THAT would get companies to clean up their act.

Under those rules the head of BP would get life on the day he was appointed.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43217155)

The CxO/board at the time the crimes were committed of course. Not at the time of the ruling, that would be ex post facto.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216779)

This polution has been exempted from EPA regulation since the Bush era.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#43216939)

I'm assuming the industrial waste water treatment plants actually charge for the service of treating this water, most likely as defined in a contract. This isn't typical residential or commercial water treatment. Once the plant takes delivery of the water hasn't it become the treatment plant's problem (as long as the water meets what they are contractually obligated to treat)? The plant should not be taking delivery of the water if they can't properly treat it. If they need more / better equipment to treat the water they need to adjust the price that they charge the fracking operation to treat the water to cover the costs. Now if the fracking water contains pollutants above and beyond what it's supposed to contain via contract and the treatment plant wasn't informed it's a completely different story.

It's sort of like blaming me if I put out perfectly normal trash and my garbage service picks it up and dumps it in to a river instead of a landfill.

Re:The Solution to Pollution is Huge Fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217229)

The plant should not be taking delivery of the water if they can't properly treat it.

Right. And that's why

in May, 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection asked that the stateâ(TM)s treatment plants voluntarily stop processing fracking wastewater.

From my reading of the article, the wastewater plants were not doing their job in processing these wastes and asked to stop. So, as you were saying the polluters here are the treatment plants, although it's possible the oil companies knew the plants couldn't treat the waste. In that case they maybe be liable. You're not allowed to pawn waste off like that or everything would be shell companies dumping illegally.

Even if you normal trash company doesn't tell you you can't include used motor oil or radioactive waste, it's still illegal for you to give it to them if you know it will no be properly disposed of.

OriginOil Has Solution (OOIL) "CleanFrac" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216685)

http://www.originoil.com/

"Sometimes...." Realy? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43216715)

Sometimes the gas producers dispose of this fracking wastewater by sending it to treatment plants that deal with sewage and water from other industrial sources.

And Here I thought I heard that they *usually* just dumped it down their unused wells... In fact, that was where MOST of this horrible liquid waste ended up, a few miles down..

Apparently this is a slow news day...

Re:"Sometimes...." Realy? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#43216767)

Define "sometimes?" But never mind the treatment plants can't handle the waste.

Re:"Sometimes...." Realy? (1)

darkfeline (1890882) | about a year ago | (#43217011)

sometimes: adv., when they aren't illegally dumping it: Sometimes the gas producers dispose of this fracking wastewater by sending it to treatment plants that deal with sewage and water from other industrial sources.

Stndard m/o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216747)

Privatize the profits
Socialize the costs

Civilisation (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43216815)

All what's needed is some civilisation.
Because in a civilised society the polluter pays, he'll have to pay so much for polluting that working clean becomes the logic and easy solution.

The oil industry has plenty of money and the solutions are since years on the shelf, pumping it back into this or a depleted reservoir is generally the cleanest way to get rid of the crud.

Re:Civilisation (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year ago | (#43217305)

Wait, you mean send engineer units in to clean up the polluted squares?

Fracking is good technoglogy (5, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#43216823)

The only problem is idiots that don't want to use it responsibly. Fracking makes energy cheaply. That's a good idea.

The problem is it has clear environmental risks that the frackers don't want to discuss.

They don't want to tell you what they put into the ground (because they are afraid people will sue them - or steal their wonderful business secrets).

Being in business means you get sued. Deal with it. As for business secrets - ever hear of patents????

The truth is that Frackers are having problems not because the technology they use is more dangerous than other tech, but because they are so damn greedy they want to do so without taking reasonable safety and anti-pollution precautions. Let's be honest here - the EPA is not know for being a hard-ass. They let people get away with amazingly evil misdeeds before they take action.

I am all in favor of fracking - if they publicly reveal everything they pump into the ground and take reasonable steps to ameliorate the problems.

Yes this will cost more. But fracking will still be cheap. We have a right to cheap CLEAN energy, not just cheap energy.

Re:Fracking is good technoglogy (1)

wjwlsn (94460) | about a year ago | (#43217053)

FWIW, Congress told the EPA to study this. Their first progress report was issued December 2012.

http://epa.gov/hfstudy/ [epa.gov]

I've only skimmed the report, so I can't be sure, but it looks like the report is long on methodology but short on actual results.

Re:Fracking is good technoglogy (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#43217069)

I am all in favor of fracking - if they publicly reveal everything they pump into the ground and take reasonable steps to ameliorate the problems.

You probably will not be in favor of fracking once you find out what they pump into the ground and what they consider "reasonable steps".

Re:Fracking is good technoglogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217083)

I was merely grinning at the lameness of this post, until I got to this:
" the EPA is not know for being a hard-ass"

They have jailed people and kicked them out of the own homes. They have shut down businesses and financially crippled many enterprising entities. They most definitely can be 'hard asses'.

Re:Fracking is good technoglogy (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43217213)

" Let's be honest here - the EPA is not know for being a hard-ass" Honestly the EPA is a neutered dog with his teeth pulled. For all the spills and air pollution how often do you hear about fines? Sure they made an example of BP in some ways but they even let them pull out before the clean up was done. Dig down on most of the beaches and there's still oil. The bottom is dead and still covered in oil. Those dispersants they were so fanatical about spraying were to make it sink below the surface not to make the oil go away. Once the visible surface oil was gone BP ran like a scalded cat. For all the right wing claims of the EPA being too tough the opposite is truth. The EPA is nearly useless and even as beaten as they are the right still wants them gone because they want zero oversight.

Re:Fracking is good technoglogy (2)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about a year ago | (#43217301)

Sure, it's great tech as long as you don't mind a few people having flammable tap water.

The basic mechanism of frakking guarantees that there will be broad contamination of any aquifers near the frakking site.

Oh, and let's not forget that frakking is yet another way to accelerate global warming. There is no possible way to compensate for that aspect of this horrible, horrible practice. We need to be getting off of fossil fuels, not investigating new ways of dredging up every last hydrocarbon stored under the Earth.

Re:Fracking is good technoglogy (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year ago | (#43217327)

Being in business means you get sued. Deal with it.

The sad thing is that it seems a lot of people actually agree with this.

Frack more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216839)

I think the USA should increase fracking. All over the country.

Holy Hell (0)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#43216863)

" Center for Healthy Environments and Communities " aka "We Don't Want Any Technology That Will Increase the Use of Fossil Fuels Organization".

Re:Holy Hell (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#43217081)

We Don't Want Any Technology That Will Increase the Use of Fossil Fuels Organization

Sounds reasonable to me.

Re:Holy Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217263)

Here [panoramio.com] is the glass and steel climate controlled edifice this work emerged from. Right next to "Hot Metal " bridge in downtown Pittsburgh. Who must have once lived here to name a thing thus?

La La land office people indulging a gentle decline from the comfort of their ancestors wealth.

I think we all know who to blame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43216885)

But I'm not sure if she knows herself.

Why do they accept it? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43216935)

Why is the waste water treatment plant accepting waste they cannot treat?

Don't accept it and make the driller send it to someone who can handle it if you can't. Seems simple enough to me.

BS alarmist article (1)

avandesande (143899) | about a year ago | (#43216957)

The waste plant has to meet effluent standards, not drinking water standards. Why would you confuse the two? All waste treatment plants operate under this model.

Re:BS alarmist article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217275)

Why would you confuse the two?

Page views. It isn't about the truth. It isn't about the environment. It isn't even about doing harm to companies or organizations they dislike. It is always about the revenue stream.

Sewage plants struggle to treat WHAT ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43217271)

Sewage plants struggle to treat f****ing wastewater? Oh my, watch your language!

Why can't they just re-use it? (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43217311)

Does the presence of these contaminants affect the pressure pumps? If not, there's no need to dispose of the water (which is incompressible so the up-to 80% which returns to the surface could just be sent down again instead of replaced with new water).

And when they're done fracking at one site, they can just haul the waste water to the next site for re-use. There are probably some sediments that come up with the water, but those should be pretty easy to filter out.
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