The U.S. Coast Guard has approved a Texas-based company’s $3 million proposal to ship liquid drilling wastes via barges along the Ohio River waterways.
In a statement dated Jan. 26, 2015, GreenHunter Resources Inc. said its proposal was quietly approved in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Kirk Trosclair, chief operating officer at GreenHunter, said in a statement the coast guard’s approval was a significant “win” for both GreenHunter Resources and their clients.
In January of 2013, GreenHunter Resources indicated it wanted to develop a new waste shipping terminal in Wheeling, WV. The company indicated it will continue with that plan, spending $2.5 million to $3 million to develop the site in Wheeling and expand or develop new waste shipping terminals in New Matamoras in Ohio. The facility in Wheeling is expected to cost $1.5 million.
The proposal for the Wheeling facility has been met with opposition from the beginning with residents, who formed the “Wheeling Water Warriors” to protest the plans. The group and other critics are worried about the threat waste shipments impose to communities who use the Ohio River for drinking water. They said any decision made in Wheeling effects anyone living down river and city officials need to consider that.
Trosclair went on to say the company’s latest lease agreement would diversify service offerings, benefit clients and limits the impact on the environment.
“The recently completed lease agreement of our MAGTank by a major oil company further diversifies our service offerings, allows us to reduce storage costs for today’s E&P operator and significantly limits the environmental impact of the surrounding area,” he said. “Clearly a win-win.”
GreenHunter Resources said liquid wastes will be moved from barges on the Ohio River to injection wells for disposal at the company owned Mills Hunter Facility in Portland. The company said it estimates each 10,000 barrels of disposal volumes transported will reduce trucking hours by about 600 hours.
Company officials said they are looking farther south along the Ohio River for future expansion sites.