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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permitting and Pretreatment for Shale Gas Extraction Wastewaters: Frequently Asked Questions

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permitting and Pretreatment for Shale Gas Extraction Wastewaters: Frequently Asked Questions [DRAFT]

Author(s):
Office of Wastewater Management
US EPA Office of Water

Date:
03.2014

Source / Publisher:
US EPA

Key findings:

  • Numerous toxic and radioactive substances in shale gas extraction wastewaters found at high enough levels to cause concern: Almost two dozen individual substances — like benzene, radium, and arsenic — found at high enough levels in shale wastewater to cause concern, but are not the only potential pollutants that must be removed before water can be considered fully treated.
  • EPA explains that tests have found chemicals and heavy metals in the shale industry’s waste at levels high enough to pose hazards to drinking water safety, human health and the environment: “Further examination based on type of criteria showed that: drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) were exceeded for 8 parameters; water quality criteria for human health protection were exceeded for 9 parameters; and criteria for aquatic life protection were exceeded for 16 parameters.”

Full document

These might interest you, too:

Sharon Kelly, Exclusive: Leaked EPA Draft Fracking Wastewater Guidance Suggests Closer Scrutiny for Treatment Plants, DesmogBlog, May 28, 2014 – 05:00

Climate Science Watch, Leaked EPA draft fracking guidance raises water contamination concerns, Climate Science & Policy Watch, May 28, 2014

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