Water treatment plant hearing Jan. 16 (Jan. 8, 2018)

Citizens have an opportunity to learn details about the shale gas wastewater treatment plant proposed for a parcel in west Coudersport and offer input to state regulators on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Gunzburger Building in Coudersport.

Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a presentation on the project 5:30. A public hearing will follow at 7, during which testimony will be accepted by DEP.

Epiphany Allegheny LLC of Pittsburgh is seeking to build the treatment facility. Company officials say that treated water could be trucked away by tankers for reuse at drilling sites, or it could be processed through the borough's sewage treatment plant.

Epiphany said its plant could initially process about 20,000 gallons of fluid per day through a cellular water treatment system which uses distillation and mist evaporation. As additional gas wells are tapped in the region, that capacity could increase.

According to company officials, the process first removes minerals and heavy metals from the fluid. Solids are contained, dried and disposed of in state-licensed landfills.

The brine that remains is processed in the second stage. Its by-products include distilled water, as well as salt that can be sold for commercial use such as road application. Numerous hurdles must be crossed before the plan can proceed. Epiphany has applied for an operating permit from DEP. Meanwhile, Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA), which operates the sewage plant, must obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit.

Natural Gas Resource Center of Potter County, Pa.| naturalgasresourcecenter.com