December 17, 2013
Not new information but important to understand the impact of fracking on the economy, environment and water. The news of the “Coast Guard supports wastewater movement by barge” has been proven to be safe and reliable. The issue is not shipping but the wastewater produced.
The US Coast Guard has announced that it supports the idea to have wastewater transported by barge. Wastewater that is created through the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is currently moved for disposal via trucks or train. However, the Coast Guard has supported plans that are being debated to transport the wastewater on barges across the nation’s river.
“The idea of using barges for wastewater transportation has been discussed in the US for around two years, with many environmental groups strongly opposing the move. Current transportation options of wastewater offer more risks for accidents, according to a report that was released by the US government. The report also stated that a single barge is capable of transporting the same amount of water as around 100 trucks, meaning that costs and emissions would be drastically reduced for those within the oil and gas industry. However, the oil and gas industry has argued that chemicals that pose a much greater risk to the environment are already being transported via river barge, which includes oil drilling waste,” reports Environmental Technology.
The question is this topic a health and safety issue or infrastructural efficiency solution. The answer rest in both camps and what make this issue complex.
The Coast Guard is looking for comments and feedback on the transportation of wastewater. Comments concerning the proposal, following an extended public comment period earlier this month (December), are now being reviewed by the Coast Guard before any final decision is made.