If there were any jobs to be had from the Antero frack-waste recycling plant and landfill built on a former aquifer-recharging wetland, people would already have them. The facility is up and running.
Located near the Doddridge/Ritchie border, Antero’s experimental operation purports to recycle frack waste for fracking reuse. But in the meantime, according to the WV Dept of Environmental Protection permit, it will introduce radioactive waste, chemicals and toxic salts into the area at the rate of 2100 tons daily of salt alone for the next 25 years. It is also putting tons of VOC’s, particulate matter, NOx and other dangerous pollutants into the air from the plant and the 600! diesel trucks per day bringing in waste.
One man, Tom Rhule, Communications Director of the WV Mountain Party and helpers, tried valiantly to stop this disaster to no avail. The final WV Environmental Quality Board hearing on the permit was dismissed, December 14, on a technicality. Rhule’s expert witness and extensive evidence revealing Antero’s irreparable harm to local communities were never heard.
This permit appears to be tailored to Antero wishes. Its landfill drainage and surface runoff test-list only checks for a few naturally occurring compounds--but not for any of the hundreds of synthetic toxins found in fracking fluid.!
Even worse, judging from past experience with frackers and our overly permissive DEP, the radioactive waste will likely not long be disposed in expensive, out-of-state certified landfills as the permit claims. Instead, similar to present frack disposal, it may be dumped into karst formations and abandoned coal mines
The permit further fails to require testing of incoming waste or outgoing salts and effluent. It only states that excess effluent will be “discharged”. DEP permit writer, Yogesh Patel, told me by phone September 30th, that this waste water will go to the Ohio River when a two-way pipeline is completed in 2022. At that point the frackers will be using river water and the recycled waste will no longer be needed.
At the pre-hearing, Rhule brought up the point that the Groundwater Protection Plan, important for just that, was not made available to the public until October 31, long after the permit’s comment period had ended. Just as public health is by the State of WV--Mr Rhule was ignored.