Figuring Out Fracking Wastewater

by Celia Henry Arnaud,  Chemical & Engineering News

Almost 3 million gallons of concentrated salt water leaked in early January from a ruptured pipeline at a natural gas drilling site near Williston, N.D. The brine, a by-product of the oil and gas extraction method

known as hydraulic fracturing, spilled into two creeks that empty into the Missouri River, according to news reports. Although a state health official said the salty water was quickly diluted once it reached the Missouri, the spill—large by North Dakota standards—raised questions about the contents of the brine.

Accidental spills like this one occur with some frequency, so scientists would like to understand the contaminants they release into waterways and elsewhere in the environment. Their findings could help officials guide the cleanup of sites or mitigate damage. Read the entire story.

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