GreenHunter Gets Coast Guard’s OK
Significant step forward for recycling facility
4 February 2015
By Casey Junkins
WHEELING - With the Coast Guard roadblock removed, GreenHunter
Water officials can now ship Marcellus and Utica shale frack waste
on Ohio River vessels - provided they can find a port to place the
material on their barges.
Nearly two years after paying $750,000 to acquire the former
Seidler's Oil Service site at North 28th Street in the Warwood
section of Wheeling, GreenHunter officials are optimistic they
will now be able to make the frack water recycling center a
reality at a cost of $1.5 million to $3 million.
"The U.S. Coast Guard approval is a significant win for both
GreenHunter Resources and our valued clients," said Kirk
Trosclair, chief operating officer for GreenHunter Resources,
parent firm of GreenHunter Water. "Our ability to transport
disposal volumes via barge will significantly reduce our costs,
improve our margins and allow us to pass along savings to our
The Wheeling Planning Commission approved "Phase 1" of
GreenHunter's plan to build the frack water recycling plant in
Warwood. Site plans at the time showed the company planned to
build 23 separate 1,000-barrel tanks on the 2.35-acre site, some
of which would hold clean rainwater, while others would contain
reusable frack water, drilling waste fluid, or flowback water.
However, the planning commission did not approve "Phase 2" of the
project, which would allow GreenHunter to load Ohio River barges
with fracking waste at Warwood so the material could be shipped
southward for disposal in deep injection wells in the Marietta,
"Without the barging, this facility does not make any sense,"
GreenHunter Water Vice President of Business Development John Jack
said during a January 2014 meeting with city and county leaders.
"I won't start this facility until I get approval by the U.S.
Jack did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.
However, Trosclair emphasized the growing need for such a facility
that would reduce the amount of truck traffic on roadways across
the Marcellus and Utica shale fields. He said that for every
10,000 barrels of frack waste transported by barge, the company
would be able to reduce the time trucks spend hauling the material
by 600 hours.
"Demand for services at GreenHunter Resources remains strong,"
Trosclair said. "While the increase in demand for services is an
important component of our success, the improvement of increasing
efficiencies at GreenHunter Resources is equally important."
GreenHunter's new dilemma may be finding a barging terminal local
leaders will allow the company to use. Wheeling leaders maintain
the firm does not have permission to use the barging
infrastructure at Warwood because they said the area alongside the
Wheeling Heritage Trail is zoned for "residential" use.
"I have not heard from them since that meeting last year," Tom
Connelly, assistant director of the Wheeling Economic and
Community Development Department, said Tuesday of the January 2014
session. "They may be contacting us now to see what their next
Connelly said the shoreline area in which the barging area is
located is not even owned by GreenHunter, in addition to being
zoned for residential use.
"They would have to somehow get that property zoned industrial.
Maybe they will pursue it now," Connelly added.
However, Jack has disputed that GreenHunter cannot use the barging
area, as he said the company has "utility easement" that allows it
to pump material from the main site to the barging area. According
to the company's deed, GreenHunter has a right of way to "run
certain pipelines, wirelines and cable crossings beneath the old
railroad ..." Connelly, however, maintains this easement is long
If GreenHunter proceeds at Wheeling, Jack said the company would
test the pipe leading to the barging area to determine if it could
be used, but would simply replace it if needed. Jack said
approximately 30 trucks, each carrying about 100 barrels of brine
water from local fracking operations, would arrive at the site
each day if it is ever up and running.