According to this page on the EPA’s website, it appears that the EPA has approved Penneco’s permit for a “commercial brine disposal injection well” Plum Borough. Basically the company wants to pump large amounts of fracking wastewater underground to “get rid” of it. Read on for details about the timeline and potential for appealing the decision and the DEP’s upcoming role in the process.
Here’s a little clip with the details about this permit:
What does this mean for Allegheny County? While the rock structures in PA are different from those in Oklahoma, the Sooner state saw a massive increase in the number of earthquakes as thousands of such disposal wells were drilled there between roughly 2009 and today. StateImpact reports,
“Oklahoma has experienced a major increase in earthquakes in recent years, including a 5.7-magnitude temblor that injured residents and damaged 200 buildings in November 2011. Swarms of quakes have continued in 2015.” – StateImpact
NoPetroPA makes no claim about what will happen from this singular well, but it might be worth looking into earthquake insurance for your old brick home, particularly if you live near the well. Furthermore, if you have well water, you may want to consider getting it tested quickly before the injection well is put into service. Per this article from TribLive,
“John Stoltz, Duquesne University biology professor, advised residents they should test their water if the injection well is permitted, a process that costs anywhere from $400 to $1,400, he said.”
That same article from TribLive goes on to note:
“Sternberg added that if the EPA approves the permit, residents can appeal the decision within 30 days.
A similar review process is then incumbent on the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to DEP spokeswoman Lauren Fraley. The agency can also request a public hearing, she said.”
We’ll keep updating this page with more information as details unfold. If you have additional details to share, please add them as comments below. Thanks!!