Associated Press Published

Study Says Drill Waste Unlikely to Get in Water

natural gas, fracking

A state study says it’s unlikely that significant amounts of untreated natural gas drilling waste in landfills will get into groundwater or surface water.

The Department of Environmental Protection released the report Wednesday on drill cuttings in landfills.

Though the report says it’s unlikely, if the waste’s runoff hit a water source, the material would likely exceed chemical limits for drinking water and be toxic to plants and invertebrate life. Treated material wouldn’t.

The report studied four of six West Virginia landfills that accept drilling waste. It compared two others that don’t.

It says most groundwater near the studied landfills isn’t used for public water. There are likely nearby private supplies.

The study says a new landfill for the material could take five-plus years and cost the industry $80 million.