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More than 510,000 tons of solid waste and 23,000 barrels of liquid waste – and counting – from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. The liquid material that drains from the landfills, known as leachate, is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities.
New York State also continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste – production brine and storage brine – from lowvolume oil and gas extraction and natural gas storage on our roads for de-icing, dust control, and road stabilization. Riverkeeper obtained records from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding this practice. We found that, between 2011 – 2014, the use of this waste was approved in portions of forty-one municipalities in nine western New York Counties. The New York State Department of Transportation was also granted permission to use this waste in portions of ten counties. In all, the use of oil and/or gas waste on roads has been approved in portions of at least fifteen New York counties.
Riverkeeper also received associated test results that showed excessive levels of chloride (salts) in both natural gas production brine and brine from natural gas storage facilities. Tests also revealed the presence of benzene and toluene in brine from oil production wells and natural gas storage. Testing for naturally occurring radioactive materials, known as NORMs, was not included and is not required by the materials made available by the state.
Map of NYS counties where use of oil and/or gas brine is approved for certain roads. Download map
Factsheet: Reuse and Disposal
2013 Riverkeeper FOIL request:
BUDs and related documents received from NYSDEC, (Download 19MB)
2014 Riverkeeper FOIL request:
BUDs and related documents received from NYSDEC