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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Battle Over Semantics Looming Between GreenHunter and U.S. Coast Guard

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:
The Coast Guard's lead chemical engineer said radioactivity found in drilling or fracking waste from the Marcellus shale formation would disqualify it from being barged on the Ohio River as so-called oilfield waste, as GreenHunter Resources is hoping to do. 
However, GreenHunter Chief Operating Officer Kirk Trosclair said Friday his company still believes it has the authority to transport the wastewater via river vessels, adding that he does not believe there is any proof the material his firm will ship has elevated levels of radium. 
Cynthia Znati, lead chemical engineer for the Coast Guard's hazardous materials division, said the presence of radioactivity is the primary difference between "shale gas extraction wastewater" and the more traditional "oilfield waste." 
"The Marcellus shale is known to have elevated levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials, particularly radium," Znati said. "From our perspective, that is the main hazard." 
In a company statement dated Jan. 26, Trosclair said the Coast Guard recently gave the company permission to transport frack waste on Ohio River barges. GreenHunter officials have maintained this is the roadblock preventing them from further pursuing their planned porting area in the Warwood section of Wheeling.
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