If you follow environmental news, then you likely know that fracking is a hot-button issue. Fracking was even on Colorado’s ballot during this year’s midterms, with Prop 112, an anti-fracking measure that actually didn’t pass. Yet while fracking has boomed in the U.S., proving advantageous for the energy industry, it has prompted environmental concerns. However, as The Washington Post reported this week, state officials in New Mexico, with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency, are pushing oil companies to recycle its fracking waste water to be used for agriculture, as well as drinking water.
According to Ken McQueen, who heads the New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, “As we see the produced water volumes increase, it just makes sense that we explore other methods of disposal, particularly if those methods may have an upside or beneficial use to New Mexico.” The Washington Post has more:
With the help of the EPA, New Mexico officials last month released a draft document on how to clarify state and federal regulations to promote reuse of the waste water.
The EPA also is conducting a separate study to potentially find other uses for produced water, citing the limitations of injection and requests from dry states asking “what steps would be necessary to treat and renew it for other purposes.”
In Pennsylvania, for example, a complex permitting process makes it difficult for companies to inject produced water within the state. Some of the water is trucked to Ohio and West Virginia for injection there, and some of it ends up with companies such as Eureka Solutions, based in Williamsport, Pa., which removes the salt so it can be used for de-icing roads and cleaning swimming pools. Eureka dumps the treated leftover water into the Susquehanna River.
You can read the full story on The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, read more of the latest environmental news below.
- A botanist criticized Tejon Ranch. So he got kicked out — along with 10,000 of his friends (Los Angeles Times)
- Trump Team Pushes Fossil Fuels at Climate Talks. Protests Erupt, but Allies Emerge, Too. (New York Times)
- SC lawmakers strategizing on how to stop Trump’s push for offshore drilling (The Post and Courier)
- New warm ocean Blob could affect Southeast winter weather, fisheries (KTOO)