A West Virginia company has developed a method to dispose of waste-water from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, while assuaging environmental concerns about injecting the water underground.
The company “has pioneered a patented evaporation and crystallization process as an environmentally responsible and cost-effective treatment method for the wastewater produced in the natural resource extraction process,” Brian Kalt, President of Fairmont Brine Processing, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The process distills water used in the fracking, and purifies it so that it can be reused or discharged into a nearby river under permit. The company separates out various salts and other products of fracking processes, then re-sells them for use in the chemical manufacturing industry. Some of the fracking components are even used as rock salt to treat local roadways in the winter.
At no point during the process is any of the fracking water injected underground, as potential dangerous chemicals are crystallized so they can be safely stored. The company is relatively small, with only 26 employees.
Out of the 40,000 wastewater disposal wells in the U.S., only 218 — 0.55 percent — can be considered potentially linked to minor earthquakes.
“Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as ‘fracking’, does not appear to be linked to the increased rate of magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes” states the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The earthquakes environmentalists commonly blame on fracking are caused by the way regulations mandate disposal of wastewater.
The “controversial method of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, even though that may be used in the drilling, is not physically causing the shakes” USGS researcher William Ellsworth told The Associated Press.
Fracking earthquake myths from environmentalists frequently confuse fracking with wastewater disposal. These myths are so widespread that the USGS actually maintains a “Myths and Misconceptions” section of its website to debunk them. Environmental groups have tried to blame fracking for just about everything, including droughts, drinking water contamination, flaming tap-water, poverty, income inequality, and even low sperm counts.
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