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drill cuttings, road
State regulators are allowing nearly 4,000 tons of natural gas drilling waste to be used in a road project in north-central Pennsylvania. Photo: Pixabay.

State OKs use of gas drilling waste on hunting club road

MARIETTA, Pa. (AP) — State regulators are allowing nearly 4,000 tons of natural gas drilling waste to be used in a road project in north-central Pennsylvania.

StateImpact Pennsylvania reports (http://n.pr/2bVa1fW) the Department of Environmental Protection has approved a plan from waste handler Clean Earth Inc. to use the materials on a road at the Bobst Mountain Hunting Club in Lycoming County.

StateImpact, a project of radio stations WITF and WHYY, says it’s the first time drill cuttings are being used in an area that is not an industrial site.

The waste dirt and rock from drilling deep underground may contain chemicals and naturally occurring radiation. Most ends up in landfills.

The DEP has allowed the repurposing of some waste through research and development permits. But StateImpact reports future projects will go through a standard permitting process requiring full public review and comment.

drill cuttings

A sample of drill cuttings under a 10x Microscope. By Mudgineer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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