Natural gas industry wastewater pollution may linger for years

A new study finds the treated wastewater from Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry may pollute rivers, lakes, streams and creeks for longer than previously thought.

Penn State environmental engineering professor Bill Burgos and his colleagues analyzed sediment samples from the Conemaugh River, a dam-controlled reservoir in western Pennsylvania. The reservoir is downstream from two centralized waste treatment plants, which contaminants from hydraulic fracturing operations can pass through. The study shows the highest concentrations of pollutants were deposited in the reservoir’s sediments five to 10 years ago. Read more.