Skip to main content

Protecting Pennsylvania Waters From Fracking

The Monongahela River, flowing through Pittsburgh, PA.

The Monongahela River, flowing through Pittsburgh, PA.

Photo courtesy of Michael Righi

What's at Stake

Pennsylvania was permitting discharges of fracking wastewater into the state’s waterways. Earthjustice fought the practice and won—securing new protections and establishing a strong precedent for similar fights across the state.

Case Overview

Pennsylvania is awash in new fracking operations, which generate huge amounts of toxic wastewater. When drillers were told that they could not send their waste to sewage treatment plants, the state faced a slew of new applications for industrial wastewater treatment plants.

Some of the early proposals would have allowed inadequately treated wastewater from fracking operations to be discharged directly into pristine cold water fisheries and rivers like the Monongahela that are already impaired by pollution.

On behalf of Clean Water Action, Earthjustice challenged an agreement between Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and the developer of a new wastewater treatment facility on the Monongahela River.

These efforts prevented the plant from discharging a single drop of waste into the river and produced a new permit that will ensure proper treatment of wastewater for recycling.

This critical victory will help in the fights to protect other water bodies in the state from natural gas drilling wastewater.

Case ID

1996

Case Updates

October 16, 2013 | Feature

Down to Earth: On the Fracking Frontlines

From the California coast to Maryland ports, Earthjustice is fighting to protect communities and special places from fracking. Listen to an interview with Deborah Goldberg, managing attorney of the Northeast regional office.

November 5, 2012 | Feature

Fracking Runs Afoul of Hometown U.S.A.

It's easy to understand why leaders and citizens in Cooperstown, NY, rose up to protect their town against fracking—and towns across America are following suit.

June 26, 2012 | Feature

Down to Earth: The Dark Side of the Fracking Boom

Deborah Goldberg, managing attorney of the Northeast regional office, discusses her litigation work on fracking, a controversial form of extreme gas drilling that can contaminate the air and water.

June 25, 2012 | Feature

Fact Sheet: On Fracking

The United States is experiencing an industrial gas rush. Industrial gas development in the Rocky Mountains region, in the Northeast’s Marcellus Shale deposit, and in other parts of the country is skyrocketing. Learn about industrial gas drilling, "fracking," and Earthjustice's work to protect communities across the country.

September 26, 2011 | Feature

Telebriefing: Natural Gas - The Inside Story

Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney at Earthjustice's Northeast Office and a nationally recognized expert on the environmental impacts of natural gas development, discusses Earthjustice's campaign to clean up and regulate the natural gas industry.

April 14, 2011 | Feature

Meet the Oil & Gas Twins

Things always find a way to happen … A pen leaking. Your shoelace coming untied. Toxic chemicals in your drinking water. What?! Watch this video to find out—and learn how the more oil and gas companies frack, the more trouble is finding ways to happen.

Stay Connected For Updates

   Please leave this field empty