Restart of Frack Water Recycle Plant near Fairmont WV Delayed

by Duane Nichols on February 9, 2013

Residual Waste Trucks

September Startup for AOP Clearwater Plant

From an article by Pam Kasey, The State Journal, 2-7-13

Fairmont Brine Processing’s planned spring re-opening of a shuttered gas industry wastewater recycling facility in Fairmont has been delayed, but still is in process. “We are now looking at a potential restart date of approximately September 2013,” said John Schmitt of Fairmont Brine affiliate Venture Engineering.

AOP Clearwater started commercial operation of its brine recycling plant in Fairmont in November 2009. The plant recycled wastewater by putting it through a number of processes: settling, filtration, and multi-phase evaporation. But the facility soon experienced an unmanageable level of corrosion, company President Louis Bonasso told The State Journal at the time. The company shut it down before it had operated for a year.

Venture Engineering of Pittsburgh, which had been a vendor at the site and helped with start-up, still saw potential. Its affiliate Fairmont Brine bought the facility in early 2012.

At the time, Schmitt said the company would replace the evaporator equipment that is the heart of the operation and hoped to start back up in the spring of 2013. That restart is delayed by a few months.

“We are close to closing on our funding for the project, and hoping to be able to close by the end of this month,” Schmitt said on February 7th. A lot of the engineering work is done, he said. Equipment will be ordered once the financing is in place.


NOTE 1: Wastwater Dumping into the Mahoning River.   It is now confirmed that fracking wastewater was being dumped directly into the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH.  The Mahoning River flows southeast.  It joins the Shenango River to form the Beaver River, which then flows in Pennsylvania into the Ohio River.  All the cities, towns and communities in West Virginia along the Ohio River have been subjected to this contamination.  Two articles will be cited for this information, here and here.


NOTE 2:  Testing Water Samples for Chemical Species.  The PA-DEP has shelved the more stringent water test procedures, according to an article on February 4th.  “In my opinion, the absence of metals (such as) selenium, arsenic, mercury and chromium from Suite Code 942 is problematic,” said Yuri Gorby, a microbial physiologist and bioprocess engineer who is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “These metals are known environmental contaminants with established toxicological effects.” He said selenium can cause nausea, vomiting, nail discoloration and brittleness and hair loss.

Arsenic, Gorby said, affects cellular energy pathways, DNA synthesis and repair, while mercury is a neurotoxin and can cause memory loss, inability to concentrate, exaggerated response to stimulation, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, muscle loss and tremors. “These symptoms are common in gas field residents,” he said. Gorby said Suite Code 946 “should be used as a bare minimum to ensure public safety. But they should also include mercury and chromium, which are covered by the unused code, (Suite Code) 944.” PA-DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday would not say why Suite Code 944 hasn’t been used in the past two years, or why it tests for so many more substances than the other two codes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Duane Nichols February 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Ben Lupo authorized the ILLEGAL DUMPING of brine water from fracking into the MAHONING RIVER, according to the information now being reported:

If the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT decides to take over the investigation and charge Ben Lupo or the companies with violating the Clean Water Act, federal penalties include a $50,000 fine per day the violations occur and three years in federal prison.

Anti-fracking activists have spoken out against D&L, the company the EPA said caused Youngstown’s first four earthquakes in history in 2011 by their injection-well practices, including one with a 4.0 magnitude.


R. Scott Mick February 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm

This person deserves much more prison time than that, if anybody had poisoned people on such a massive scale it would be over. This person and the people that paid him to do it along with people he paid, needs to be charged and locked away. No matter how you look at this I consider the poisoning of our land, air and water terrorism. They should be punished accordingly. We are now finding out the truths about hydraulic fracturing and it gets worse as you find out.


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