Waste Injection Begins

Wastewater from oil and gas operations is headed to Columbus Township.

Bear Lake Properties has officially begun operations at the wastewater disposal well site in conjunction with another Warren County business.

Waste Treatment Corp. of Warren began hauling water from Marcellus shale production sites to the disposal facility near the New York State border last week, according to Bear Lake Properties President Karl Kimmich.

“We will be working towards trying to maintain a regular operation of about eight to ten trucks per day, six days per week, weather permitting,” Kimmich wrote in an email Tuesday.

Kimmich said only a few trucks a day are expected at the site until the winter weather breaks.

Trucks from Waste Treatment Corp. are travelling through New York State to the site and Kimmich said Bear Lake Properties is not accepting any “locally produced brine, other than our own” at the facility.

“The trucks are travelling from Warren to our facility via good, solid roadways in New York State,” he said. “All routes used by the trucks bringing water to the site have been properly permitted for this activity.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally defines the wells as, “Underground Injection Control II-D commercial brines disposal injection wells,” located at sites known as Bittinger 1 and Bittinger 4 off of Weeks Road near the New York State border in Bear Lake.

The EPA issued final permits last November after nearly two years of permitting and opposition from residents in Columbus Township and Bear Lake.

The anticipated depth of Bittinger 1 is 4,431 feet and Bittinger 4 is anticipated at 4,496 feet below the surface.

“It’s a salt water disposal project. What it is designed to do is take a growing issue in Pennsylvania and that is with the increasing volumes of production in Marcellus Shale and some other formations with the increase in natural gas is a growing issue with the production which you have with all gas types. Currently a lot of that is taken to Ohio, and we hope to provide another outlet for that here in Pennsylvania,” Kimmich said previously.

The EPA has also issued draft permits for injection wells in Elk and Clearfield counties.