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Environment & Energy

The Coast Guard Decides Not To Set Fracwater Policy

Ohio RIver Tow and Barge

  After two years of public comment, there will be no general federal regulations allowing waste-water from fracking to be transported in barges on the Ohio River.  


A company called Green Hunter wanted to use the Ohio to ship fracwater from Utica and Marcellus shale wells to Southern Ohio and beyond for disposal. The U.S. Coast Guard oversees inland waterways and called for public comment on its plan to create a policy allowing such shipping. Sixty thousand negatives later, it dropped the idea from consideration.

Storage Facility
Storage Facility

Lane Boldman of the Kentucky Conservation Committee says that reduces potential risk to the river, and potential problems with the disposal itself.

“The more you transport these materials the more you have the opportunity for things ... to be disposed of improperly. And, its fairly easy to hide when something isn’t disposed of properly.”

The decision may be moot. Green Hunter's corporate parent Magnum Hunter Resources recently filed for bankruptcy.