While John Jack prepares to again pitch GreenHunter Water's natural gas frack water recycling plant to the Wheeling Planning Commission, he is moving forward with a similar project at the firm's New Matamoras, Ohio site.
"GreenHunter's Frac-Cycle recycling system will allow producers to re-use 'clean brine' for drilling and fracking activities," said Jack, vice president of Business Development for GreenHunter.
Jack added that the "strategic location" of the New Matamoras site in the middle of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays enables the site to service customers such as Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, Magnum Hunter and several others. He said allowing the operators to recycle this water at New Matamoras provides them a cost savings because they do not have to pay to take the material to various disposal sites.
Photo by Casey Junkins
John Jack, vice president of Business Development for GreenHunter Water, speaks during a tour of the company’s New Matamoras, Ohio plant.
According to the company, once the fracking wastewater enters the Frac-Cycle system, the water and the solid elements are separated.
The solids are then compressed into a dry filter-cake that eventually goes to a certified landfill, but in smaller quantities.
"GreenHunter's recycling initiative is targeted to help Marcellus and Utica oil and natural gas producers reduce truck traffic and consumption of fresh water," the company states on its website.
GreenHunter's site plan for the natural gas frack water project in the Warwood section of Wheeling is expected to be up for review again at the 5 p.m. Monday Wheeling Planning Commission meeting in City Council Chambers. During the June 10 meeting, commissioners determined that GreenHunter needed to address some minor issues before commissioners signed off on the frack water recycling plan.
Jack said there will be 19 storage tanks at the North 28th Street site, but he emphasized the old, rusty tanks left over from Seidler's Oil will be dismantled and removed.
Officials with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the brine GreenHunter wants to recycle in Warwood can contain radioactive radium and radon. Despite concerns voiced by Wheeling city officials and a group of residents calling themselves the "Wheeling Water Warriors," regulatory agencies do not believe the amount of radioactivity at the site should be hazardous.
Though radium, uranium and radon are considered radioactive, Jack said these elements will be minuscule in volume. He also said the company's workers will wear radiation detectors while on the job.
GreenHunter also wants to, eventually, transport some of the waste by barge. Several federal agencies continue to review whether fracking waste can be shipped on inland waterways via barge.
However, this matter is not currently up for consideration by the commission because GreenHunter does not yet have permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to do this.