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Questions surround gas-drilling waste water
|Try pouring 10 gallons of industrial waste into a 10-ounce cup, and there you have the disposal problem regulators face with the natural gas industry settling into the Twin Tiers.|
Once the drilling starts and millions of gallons of waste water begin flowing from thousands of wells, it will become everybody's problem, environmentalists say.
Treatment plants set up in the region aren't designed to handle the volume or type of waste expected from tapping the Marcellus Shale Formation, the rich reserve of natural gas running under the Southern Tier and Catskill region, throughout Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio and West Virginia.
"It's just the sort of question people are puzzling over here," Jim Tierney, assistant commissioner for water resources with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said late last week.
Sparky Delong, who operates a private treatment plant in Franklin, Pa., has an answer: Build more plants.
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