Fracking Wastewater Treatment Facility Proposed in Pennsylvania

 - by Nicole Mulvaney, December 10, 2014, Times of Trenton

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"342","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 222px; height: 167px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;"}}]]An Israeli water recycling company is proposing a hazardous waste treatment facility about 6 miles southwest of Trenton across the Delaware River in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex.

Elcon Recycling Center, which has an office in West Windsor, went before representatives of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday night detailing plans to construct the facility on 22 acres at 100 Dean Sievers Place.

Rengarajan Ramesh of Elcon said the facility will use environmentally sustainable technology to transform industrial liquid waste into clean water, cutting down more on solid waste and lowering air emissions compared to other industry practices.

“It will be a completely sealed system to the point there are no odors coming out,” Ramesh said.

Elcon’s proposal is unrelated to the hazardous waste incinerator proposed earlier this year in Bristol, Pa. and later put on hold.

About 90 to 95 percent of waste Elcon treats is water that has not been used in the fracking process and can be reused, Ramesh said. The existing site is considered a brownfield and Elcon plans to improve conditions there, he said.

But members of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Pennsylvania League of Women Voters said Elcon would annually treat 210,000 tons of raw hazardous waste, including mercury, lead and cadmium.

Red papers reading “hazardous waste” with a circle and line through the middle were handed out by group members present at the meeting.

Incineration would produce 39 tons of air emissions containing pollutants such as hydrochloric acid and nitrous oxide that could make their way to areas of Mercer County and Bordentown, environmentalists said.

"This is not incineration. There is no flaring in this technology at all," Ramesh said. “We do not — I repeat — We do not have any flare in our operations."

Elcon plans to have 17 trucks visiting the site daily, but that traffic could be reduced with a proposed railroad, he said. Trucks would use major highways and not pass through residential neighborhoods, Ramesh said.

Environmentalists contend the railroad proposed to deliver some of the waste would cut through wetlands.

DEP officials are accepting comments on the suitability of the project through Dec. 26. Attendees said the less than one-hour presentation did not provide enough information to make a decision and deceptively did not explain plans for an incinerator.

Comments can be sent to:

PA DEP Hazardous Waste Permit Review Team

Subject: Elcon Recycling Services

2 E. Main St.

Norristown, Pa. 19401

Officials can also be reached by phone at 484-250-5960, by fax at 484-250-5961 or by email at RA-HazWaste@pa.gov.