Article courtesy of Michael Gorman | September 19, 2014 | Herald News | Shared as educational material
The future of millions of litres of fracking waste water remains uncertain as the province waits for test results of a pilot project and other disposal proposals.
Waste water from several test wells drilled in the Kennetcook, Hants County, area has sat in two holding ponds since the drilling in 2007-08.
There are 10 million litres in each of the ponds and an additional 10 million litres of waste water sits in holding ponds at Atlantic Industrial Services in Debert, where it has been treated.
An initial plan for Atlantic Industrial to discharge the water through a Colchester County sewer system was rejected by the local municipal council. Two million litres from the site were recently used by the Lafarge cement plant in Brookfield in its kiln for a pilot project.
Environment Minister Randy Delorey on Thursday said the company and province are awaiting test results from the pilot project before determining if more water can be disposed of that way.
Meanwhile, Atlantic Industrial is waiting for a response to a proposal to discharge the rest of the water in its holding ponds, and possibly the water in Kennetcook, via the sewer system in Dieppe, N.B.
Delorey said the department does not pursue avenues for getting rid of the water, but rather reviews proposals as they are submitted to government. All proposals are reviewed to make sure they meet environmental safety requirements, he said.
The department, meanwhile, monitors the Kennetcook holding ponds on a weekly basis to ensure the integrity of the site and any issues or concerns are reported back to staff, said Delorey.
“There haven’t been any documented in some time.”
Heavy snow and rain caused the ponds to run over last January.
The minister conceded the process is taking a long time, although he said the pilot project with Lafarge is the first major effort by a government to do something with the waste water.
“When you have a file that’s been outstanding for seven or eight years,” Delorey said, “certainly there’s a desire to bring these things to resolution.”