Shale Wastewater Hauler Waives Hearing in Trial

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
27 September 2011

Robert Allan Shipman -- a Greene County waste water hauler charged with illegally dumping millions of gallons of Marcellus Shale drilling wastewater, and municipal and industrial sludge -- waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday.

Mr. Shipman, 49, of New Freeport, faces 98 criminal charges and 72 more counts against his company, Allan's Waste Water Service Inc., for allegedly dumping the drilling wastewater and other wastes from 2003 to 2009 in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Among the customers identified on the allegedly forged manifests are natural gas companies that own deep Marcellus Shale wells and shallower conventional oil and gas wells, a half-dozen municipal sewage authorities and Hatfield's Ferry, a coal-fired power plant owned by FirstEnergy, formerly Allegheny Power.

According to court documents, Mr. Shipman operated a $7 million waste hauling business with at least 16 tanker trucks that dumped contaminated wastewater on the ground and roads and into abandoned mines and streams.

Some of those streams are tributaries of Dunkard Creek, which meanders along the Pennsylvania-West Virginia line and where a massive fish kill occurred in a 30-mile stretch in 2009.

A trial date has not yet been set.