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Pennsylvania May Use Coal Mine Water for Hydraulic Fracturing

The Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy has unanimously approved legislation that would encourage the use of mine water for Marcellus shale well development and industrial use.

The measure provides essential liability protections for the development of treatment systems for acid mine water utilized for oil and gas well development under the already existing Environmental Good Samaritan Act. Sen. Richard Kasunic, the bill’s sponsor, says acid mine drainage is Pennsylvania’s “single greatest source of water pollution, responsible for approximately 2,500 miles of degraded waterways. These waterways become acidic and laden with dissolved metals that make them uninhabitable for fish and other aquatic life — and unsuitable for human consumption.”

Kasunic said the proposed legislation would encourage using mine water in drilling “rather than the continued heavy use of municipal and fresh water sources.”

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