Battelle and OEPA, ODNR partnership to identify wastewater treatment technologies to improve Ohio shale gas drilling production
Battelle, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources partner to identify wastewater treatment technologies that will increase water reuse and decrease injection of wastewater into disposal wells associated with shale gas drilling.
COLUMBUS, OH, Nov. 12, 2012 -- Battelle scientists and engineers will work with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to identify wastewater treatment technologies that are suitable for use in Ohio. The technologies will increase water reuse and decrease injection of wastewater into disposal wells associated with shale gas drilling and production activities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Regions.
"This is another example of creating public-private partnerships and Ohio EPA is pleased to work with ODNR and Battelle to establish a framework for identifying viable technologies for recycling and reusing wastewater generated from oil and gas exploration activities," said Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally. "The process put in place under the contract will enable the agencies to review emerging technologies that can help reduce the volume of fresh water taken from streams and rivers for purposes of hydraulic fracturing, and reduce the reliance on Ohio's underground injection control wells for disposal of fluids."
The ODNR's leadership also sees value in teamwork. "We are fortunate to collaborate with Ohio EPA and Battelle to evaluate alternative new technologies for proper wastewater treatment," said ODNR Director James Zehringer. "Environmental safety is and will remain our top priority, making it imperative to properly regulate wastewater disposal and ensure public health and safety."
The work comes as part of Ohio Senate Bill 315, which Governor John Kasich signed in June. That bill provides critical components to the regulatory framework for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations in the state. The Marcellus and Utica Shale regions stretch across New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and portions of Kentucky and Tennessee. These shale gas regions are rich in natural gas. To develop these resources, freshwater is used and may potentially be recycled and reused at additional locations.
"Battelle is committed to helping the state assess technologies so industry can access resources in an economical and environmentally responsible way," said Marty Toomajian, President of Battelle's Energy, Environment and Material Sciences Global Business. "Hydraulic fracturing requires a large volume of water, so new technologies for reuse of the flowback and produced water must be identified, developed and deployed to maintain sustainable operations. Battelle is ideally suited to be doing this type of work."
Battelle will help the state in three ways:
- Establish a basis for assessing wastewater treatment technologies, including criteria for water management, appropriate environmental and health protection objectives and technology suitability.
- Develop a technology assessment process to evaluate proposed treatment and reuse technologies. The process will allow for assessing both commercially available and emerging technologies using established criteria to evaluate tradeoffs of treatment options.
- Demonstrate the assessment process for selected technologies representing solutions for recycling and discharge to state and local government stakeholders, showing the application of the technology assessment process in either scenario. The demonstration will illustrate how to use open literature and information supplied by technology vendors to assess the selected technologies.
As the world's largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world's most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.5 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including eight national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the United Kingdom.
Battelle also is one of the nation's leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.