GreenHunter Says Oilfield Waste Will Be Shipped in Wheeling

Recycling company moving ahead with portion of its plan

Wheeling Intelligencer
20 February 2015
By Casey Junkins, Staff Writer
GreenHunter Resources officials said they are moving forward with the planned natural gas frack water facility in Wheeling.

Trosclair said Wednesday he stands by his Jan. 26 statement about receiving permission from the Coast Guard to barge the wastewater.

"We have permission to transport oilfield waste. When the Coast Guard comes up with rules concerning shale gas extraction wastewater, we will abide by them," he said.

Cynthia Znati, lead chemical engineer for the Coast Guard's hazardous materials division, said the presence of radioactivity in shale gas extraction wastewater is the primary difference between this material and the more traditional oilfield waste, which would not be considered radioactive. She said the Coast Guard continues reviewing the 70,000 comments officials received concerning the barging, adding the agency is not on a timeline.

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.

Tom Connelly, assistant director of the Wheeling Economic and Community Development Department, said the shoreline area in which the barging area is located is not owned by GreenHunter, in addition to being zoned for residential use.

Meanwhile, environmental activists continue organizing against GreenHunter's project, as a Feb. 17 letter addressed to Coast Guard Capt. Richard Timme requests the agency issue a cease-and-desist order against GreenHunter when the company starts transporting oilfield waste.

"Just the thought of toxic and potentially radioactive unconventional gas well waste being shipped by barge on the Ohio River sickens me," said Robin Blakeman, organizer with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition in Huntington, W.Va.