Frack Wastewater Being Used at NS Cement Plant

23 05 2014


Treated fracking wastewater has arrived at the Lafarge cement plant in Brookfield from Atlantic Industrial Services in Debert to be used as coolant in the cement kiln.

Plant Manager Scarth MacDonnell tells our newsroom the province has given approval for a very small percentage of the wastewater being held at AIS to be processed in a test phase.

He says the water is safe, and that every truck that shows up at the plant is tested before it’s accepted to ensure it meets all federal and provincial safety standards.

MacDonnell says they’re running final checks and trials to make sure everything works as planned, with the trials for the pumping system to make sure they can send the wastewater into the existing spray water.

He says they’ve done tests with their normal processed water, and they want to double-check to make sure everything works smoothly with the wastewater from AIS.

MacDonnell says the trials should take three to four weeks, but some of the testing will take a bit of time so results will be available in a few months.

He says they’ll be posting the results online, and at that time will open up a discussion on what happens next.




4 responses

23 05 2014
Frack Wastewater Being Used at NS Cement Plant | The Harbinger | Pressing Refresh

[…] via Frack Wastewater Being Used at NS Cement Plant | The Harbinger. […]

23 05 2014

“Does anyone know the federal and provincial safety testing requirements in this case with regards to radioactivity?”

Good question.

The answer could be long and drawn out. But what it amounts to is that the only standards there are is what we fight to get.

If no fuss about it: we did not even hear about it happening before.

The radioactivity is not necessarily the worst of it. But the radioactivity is the most ‘publicly sensitive’ of the toxins…. and even for radioactivity, there are no standards that get in the way of them doing this after it has been treated. [Which does not remove everything.]

This is a “pilot project” for 2 million litres out of 25-30 million. But it is very predictable that the regulators will ‘pass’ the pilot project…. and then the rest goes. STILL: there is a pause when that pilot project is complete. [after several weeks]

If this is allowed to go on, it will be coal bed methane waste waters next. Those start being produced very soon. And they have no where else to go.

In fact, it is highly likely that for some time they will be dumping millions of litres of waste water through the Lafarge cement kiln, AND, at the same time, Nova Scotia is still increasing the amount of fracking and very similar coal bed methane waste waters !

Ken Summers

23 05 2014

It is too simple to say “no requirements.” And it is incorrect.

But the full ‘answer’ is literally endless.

And it does amount to that the standards there are do not protect us.

Anticipating the next question: ‘So the standards are too lax?’

Unfortunately, it isnt as simple as ‘standards too lax’ either.

I think the most general you can get is to say that the way the whole regulatory institution works is way too lax. But toughening the standards would at best bring only a temporary improvement.

Its always important to [at least] hold them to standards, and to make them identify the standards.

But relying on that is a lost cause. Even worse, it becomes a distraction chasing them down all the rabbit holes.

In my opinion, we are well past that point when it comes to that with these waste waters. [And I doubt if there is anyone who spends more time than I do chasing the rabbits. There are compelling reasons for me not to stop. But we have to be realistic about how far this can get us.]

REMEMBER: it is their burden to establish this is a safe practice. And safe/acceptable according to the precautionary principle that is enshrined in the Environment Act. That all the rules are being followed- if they are- proves nothing.

Ken Summers

23 05 2014

Thanks for your responses.

I would like to know the specifics. If anyone has information on what laboratory tests a cement company has to put kiln water through in NS and can share this, please let me know. If it’s none, then where can I find a list of the current suite of lab tests or safety thresholds that AIS has to meet before re-distributing the wastewater.

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