Pennsylvania Sets Rules for Using Mine Wastewater in Fracking Operations

On January 9, 2013, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a White Paper setting out rules governing the use of mining runoff in hydraulic fracking.

The DEP sees this use of the mining wastewater for fracking operations as a way to decrease the oil and gas industry’s reliance on freshwater sources. A drilling operator seeking to use mining wastewater must submit an application to the DEP, accompanied by sampling data to show the level of pollutants.

The applicant must also provide details about the anticipated method of wastewater storage and develop remediation and treatment plans if the water is expected to be released back into the environment after the fracking operation.

This article was prepared by Barclay R. Nicholson ( or 713 651 3662) from Fulbright's Energy Practice.