News Feature | March 10, 2014

No Fracking Sites in Connecticut But Toxic Wastewater Still A Concern

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


Fracking wastewater may get regulated in Connecticut.

That's somewhat surprising because "there are no shale deposits in Connecticut, which means there’s no hydraulic fracking for natural gas," CT News Junkie reported. Nevertheless, "environmentalists believe the state legislature needs to take steps to prevent fracking waste from ending up here," the report said.

Connecticut is home to several facilities in the state that could potentially accept fracking wastewater for storage or recycling. "But no fracking waste has come into the state as of yet, and there are no pending proposals," The Day reported, citing a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) official.

Natural gas consumption is on the rise in Connecticut. A year ago, officials approved a massive expansion in the state's usage, the Associated Press reported.

But since then, state lawmakers have been studying the potential dangers of fracking fluids. They are "considering a ban on storing or recycling wastewater generated as a byproduct of gas exploration," the AP said.

The environmental lobby is pushing bills "intended to eliminate any possibility that Connecticut will be exposed to wastewater produced when chemical-laced water used to fracture underground rocks flows back during drilling," the report said. 

The oil and gas industry argues that Connecticut has little risk for such exposure.

"Transporting wastewater into Connecticut from sites used for natural gas fracturing, or fracking, in Pennsylvania or elsewhere is unlikely, the industry says. Still, environmentalists are seizing on any opportunity to limit or halt fracking," the report said. 

Is it unfair for Connecticut residents to use natural gas while shunning its wastewater, a key byproduct of the process? Louis Burch, Connecticut program coordinator at the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and a supporter of the legislation, "said buying or importing natural gas does not obligate Connecticut to find a way to safely dispose of the wastewater," the AP reported.  

“It’s a transaction. We’ve paid in full,” he said in the report. 

State regulators, not just lawmakers, are also wary of fracking wastewater. The Day reported that regulators are "seeking to have fracking waste considered hazardous waste and subject to the same labeling, permitting and handling requirements as other hazardous waste."  

Image credit: "Connecticut," © 2009 jblyberg, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license:

Want to publish your opinion?

Contact us to become part of our Editorial Community.