Industrial waste : Buckeye Brine started second industrial waste disposal

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Buckeye Brine’s Coshocton disposal operation has injected nearly 900,000,000 gallons of wastewater since its startup in 2012 under US EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. After a development effort lasting almost five years, the company has completed the conversion of two of its wells from UIC Class II status (restricted to oil and natural gas wastewaters) to UIC Class I status, permitting the facility to manage almost any non-hazardous wastewater from any industry.

Buckeye president Steve Mobley said, “Our Class I operation is a game changer for waste generators throughout our region and beyond. We’re fully capable of managing almost any kind of wastewater without pretreatment as long as it’s non-hazardous. Constituents that give NPDES discharge facilities problems, such as ammonias, BOD, dissolved metals are non-issues for us.”

Mobley said UIC technology is a safe, permanent disposal solution for emerging contaminants like PFAS. “Unlike other technologies that simply transfer the contaminant from one form to another, UIC technology eliminates any air or water impacts from these “forever chemicals.” This makes our facility a particularly good fit for landfill leachates. Most leachates currently go to POTWs, which aren’t designed to remove PFAS, so these contaminants end up in our streams and rivers. UIC technology puts an end to this.”

Underground injection technology was developed for oilfield wastes in the 1930s and became established in other industries in the 1950s. The technology came under federal regulation in the 1980s with the advent of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s UIC program. Class I rules dictate construction standards, real-time monitoring, and extensive analysis of mechanical and geologic conditions. Together they ensure that waste goes into the permitted injection zone and nowhere else.

Buckeye Brine’s UIC operation injects wastewaters into porous geologic formations over a mile below the groundwater, isolating them permanently from the rock formations above the injection zone. “We use the only technology that removes contaminants from the ecosphere, as opposed to just rearranging them on the surface of the earth,” Mobley said. “In almost 40 years of federal regulation of this technology, no Class I well has failed to confine waste in its injection zone.

“Our facility is recognized as the most advanced and environmentally secure commercial injection operation in in the region.” he added. “Since we opened, we’ve had 100% uptime with no violations and no accidents.”