Anti-frack group raises Mich. hackles

Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:49 AM
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LANSING, Mich., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- An advocacy group in Michigan questioned the state's environmental stewardship after water from natural gas development was dumped on state roads.

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that Michigan contains more natural gas reserves than any other state in the Great Lakes region. Most of that gas is situated in the Antrim shale play in the northern section of the state's Lower Peninsula.

Ban Michigan Fracking found that the state's Department of Environmental Quality permitted the disposal on public roads of around 40,000 gallons of fluid left over from hydraulic fracturing operations last year, reports Michigan Public Radio.

DEQ officials told the broadcaster, however, there wasn't anything in the waste water "that was deleterious above normal oil field brine." The department has since ended the practice, which was said to be a dust deterrent.

Ban Michigan Fracking, however, questioned how the state agency can manage natural gas deposits "when it apparently can't follow its own rules in treating the liquid waste."

The Energy Department reports that about 2 percent of the nation's gas producing wells is in Michigan. The state government, for its part, reports that Michigan produced 148 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2009.

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