Barging of Wastewater Must be Evaluated
Morgantown Dominion Post
13 February 2013
The Upper Monongahela River Association supports the barging of
industrial water and wastewater, particularly in support of oil
and gas fracking, providing this is done under proper regulation.
There are many potential benefits from this, including:
Wastewater is an aqueous solution of chemicals, and there are
good models for proper regulation of wastewater transport in
regulations for the shipment of other chemicals.
- Reduced long-distance truck traffic on our roads
- Reduced air pollution
- Reduced shipping costs
- Reduced road damage
- Reduced risks of environmental damage from spills
- Increased traffic on under utilized waterways
Proper regulation involves placing conditions on both the barges
themselves and on loading and unloading of barges.
Tank barges must be used. They must have tanks separate from the
hulls of the barges to prevent leakage from corrosion, collisions
and groundings. For stability, they must create separate
compartments, and they must be covered and closed for spill
Loading and unloading must take place at properly constructed and
inspected terminals. These may be modest in design, but they must
have all-weather access roads, secure parking, properly and
securely installed piping and hoses, and secure barge moorings.
All traffic on our rivers is classified as interstate commerce,
and the US Coast Guard regulates barges, terminals, inspections,
and so forth. State regulation would be limited to limited aspects
of the land side of terminal operation.
Of course we believe that the companies must do this in compliance
with local, state and federal regulations for all aspects
including siting, and that they strive to use best practices and
processes. This includes public safety and health and worker
safety and health; and best practices for fugitive emissions.
Properly done, barging of frackwater has benefits for the public,
industry and our roads, rivers, and environment.
Upper Monongahela River Association Morgantown