EPA Conducts Public Forum on Oil & Gas Wastewater Management

007_oil-and-gas-wastewater(October 16, 2018) – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently held a public meeting to report what the Agency has learned to date, and to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to contribute additional input on its Oil and Gas Extraction Wastewater Management Study.

Oil and gas extraction produces large quantities of wastewater, which is commonly disposed of using underground injection.  EPA is conducting the study to determine if more of this wastewater could be treated and reused, and whether new treatment technologies could help with this process.  Currently, POTWs may treat wastewater from conventional oil and gas extraction, but not from unconventional extraction, also known as “fracking.”

NACWA member agency, Gulf Coast Authority (GCA) spoke at the public meeting in support of increased treatment options for oil and gas extraction wastewater.  GCA presented several regulatory options that would encourage the kind of innovation that could lead to cost-effective treatment for this wastewater.  In addition, regulatory changes could allow publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) appropriate treatment capabilities to serve as Centralized Waste Treatment (CWT) facilities.

NACWA members with an interest in oil and gas extraction wastewater should contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director, Regulatory Affairs, for more details.