February 16, 2010
Chesapeake Energy is withdraw its permit applications to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and [New York] state Department of Environmental Conservation for a wastewater disposal facility in the Steuben County town of Pulteney.
Chesapeake's plans to convert an abandoned natural gas well into a disposal site for wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing process stirred up stiff public opposition.
The company indicated last week it would not pursue those plans, but also noted that it wasn't going to withdraw permit applications with the EPA or state Department of Environmental Conservation.
In letters sent to both agencies, Chesapeake indicated it changed its mind not because of public opposition, but because it has better options available.
"This decision is based primarily on the fact that the state will not allow completion of Marcellus shale wells until the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement is completed," the letters stated. "In addition, since initiating this project, we have advanced our operational capacity to reuse/recycle water produced in other areas of the Marcellus Shale, greatly reducing our current need for additional disposal facilities in New York."
Chesapeake's decision was applauded by state Sen. George H. Winner Jr., who opposed the plan to locate an injection well in Pulteney.
"It's the right decision, and I'm pleased that company officials have been more than willing to listen and give every consideration to the concerns of local leaders and local residents," Winner said in a news release.