Tuesday, June 6, 2017
14:00 - 15:45

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14:00 - 14:15: / 305B IMPACTS OF OIL AND GAS WASTEWATER DISPOSAL ON SURFACE WATER QUALITY, SEDIMENTS AND BIOTA

6/06/2017  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  305B

Impacts of oil and gas wastewater disposal on surface water quality, sediments and biota Permitted discharges of high-salinity oil and gas (O&G) wastewater to fresh water streams can result in radionuclide, metal, and organic contamination that could pose risks to aquatic and human health. However, little is known about the potential accumulation of these contaminants in sediments and biota or the risk they could pose to ecosystem services. The sediments and biota may preserve unique chemical signatures of changes in watershed energy development over time. We analyzed sediment cores downstream of two wastewater facilities that historically and currently discharge treated wastewater with TDS> 150,000 mg/L. Major element chemistry (e.g., Cl, Br, Na, Sr, Ba) and isotope ratios (e.g., 87Sr/86Sr and 228Ra/226Ra) from both sediments and porewater identify impacts from unconventional wastewater during a period of time of maximum volume of unconventional wastewater disposal (2009-2011). Radium is present in this interval at activities 3-4 times higher than background with 226Ra/228Ra ratios that likely reflect disposal of unconventional Marcellus Shale flowback and produced water. Shells of freshwater mussels collected downstream of a different treatment facility show a similar pattern of elevated Sr and Ba accumulation during the period of time with maximum wastewater disposal.

Nathaniel Warner (Primary Presenter/Author), Pennsylvania State University, nrw6@psu.edu;


Luis Castillo Meza ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pennsylvania State University, lec207@psu.edu;


Katherine Van Sice ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pennsylvania State University, kjv5@psu.edu;


Bonnie McDevitt ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pennsylvania State University, bum49@psu.edu;


Thomas Geeza ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pennsylvania State University, tjg5157@psu.edu;


Patrick Drohan ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pennsylvania State University, pjd7@psu.edu;


William Burgos ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Penn State, wbd3@psu.edu;


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14:15 - 14:30: / 305B WATER STRESS FROM HIGH VOLUME HYDRAULIC FRACTURING THREATENS AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN ARKANSAS, U.S.A.

6/06/2017  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  305B

WATER STRESS FROM HIGH VOLUME HYDRAULIC FRACTURING THREATENS AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN ARKANSAS, U.S.A. From 2004 to 2014, high-volume hydraulically fractured techniques were applied to approximately 5000 petroleum wells in Arkansas’(AR) Fayetteville Shale. Most fluid is freshwater withdrawn from sources near gas wells. High-volume water withdrawals could stress local freshwater resources and alter ecosystem services. We quantified the potential for HVHF withdrawals to create water stress for aquatic organisms and ecosystem services. To quantify HVHF withdrawals, we used permitted withdrawal locations and water volume used per well. Most withdrawal locations were small flowing and dammed streams. Daily peak permitted withdrawals exceeded expected median flows at 90% of withdrawal sites during dry months. Estimated withdrawals exceeded expected median and low flow thresholds at which biological impacts are predicted in up to 51% and 76% of the watersheds, respectively, during the driest month. Based on development projections, AR watersheds could continue to experience water stress. These watersheds support up to 18 aquatic species of conservation concern and provide drinking water for cities with up to 63,000 people. Our analysis highlights the need for daily maximum permitted withdrawal rates that change with the natural flow regime to minimize impacts to stream biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Sally Entrekin (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Central Arkansas , sentrekin@uca.edu;


Anne Trainor ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, anne.trainor@tnc.org;


James Saiers ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Yale University, james.saiers@yale.edu;


Lauren Patterson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Duke University, lauren.patterson@duke.edu;


Kelly Maloney ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, kmaloney@usgs.gov;


Joseph Fargione ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, jfargione@tnc.org;


Joseph Kiesecker ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, jkiesecker@tnc.org;


Sharon Baruch-Mordo ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, sbaruch-mordo@tnc.org;


Kate Konschnik ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Harvard University, kkonschnik@law.harvard.edu;


Jean-Philippe Nicot ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The University of Texas at Austin, jp.nicot@beg.utexas.edu;


Hannah Wiseman ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Florida State University, hwiseman@fsu.edu;


Joseph Ryan ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Colorado, joseph.ryan@colorado.edu;


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14:30 - 14:45: / 305B REGULATORY AND MONITORING RESPONSES TO UNCONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN

6/06/2017  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  305B

REGULATORY AND MONITORING RESPONSES TO UNCONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN In the mid-2000s the unconventional natural gas (UNG) industry began developing the Marcellus Shale in the northeast United States. From 2008-2013, a total of 2860 wells were hydraulically fractured within the Susquehanna River Basin (SRB), each consuming 16,277 m<3/sup> of water on average. The total amount of water consumptively used during this period was approximately 50 million m<3/sup>, with the majority obtained from surface waters. Data indicate the industry has not negatively impacted established water users and suggests that the primary competition for water resources has occurred between the UNG industry and ecosystems. The novel challenges posed by the UNG industry, that is most active in small watersheds with low water yields, have been met with innovative regulatory responses including requirements for prior approval for water withdrawals of any amount, encouraging use of lesser quality and shared sources, and implementation of an ecosystem needs driven passby flow policy. Monitoring efforts intended to inform the technical review of water withdrawal projects were initiated, as well as research that examines impacts of flow alteration on stream ecology, and accuracy of using regional reference gages to assess passby flow conditions at ungaged locations.

Matthew Shank (Primary Presenter/Author), Susquehanna River Basin Commission, mshank@srbc.net;


John Balay ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Susquehanna River Basin Commission, jbalay@srbc.net;


Jim Richenderfer ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Susquehanna River Basin Commission, jrich46@comcast.net;


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14:45 - 15:00: / 305B VULNERABILITY OF BROOK TROUT STREAMS TO SHALE GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE PENNSYLVANIA PORTION OF UPPER SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN, USA.

6/06/2017  |   14:45 - 15:00   |  305B

VULNERABILITY OF BROOK TROUT STREAMS TO SHALE GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE PENNSYLVANIA PORTION OF UPPER SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN, USA. Development of oil and gas from unconventional sources has dramatically increased over the past ten years in the Pennsylvania portion of the Upper Susquehanna River basin; a largely forested area that contains many of the state’s high quality Brook Trout populations. We developed a disturbance index based on 17 factors incorporating infrastructure (roads, pipelines, well pads), water withdrawal, gas and waste production, and violations associated with the extraction process at a catchment scale. We compared the disturbance index to high quality Pennsylvania Class A Brook Trout streams to assess their vulnerability to current development. We then related these streams to a published future build out scenario to assess future risk. Preliminary results indicate that 634 catchments (out of 16,715) had medium or high disturbance scores and five of the 262 Class A categorized Brook Trout streams in the study area were within these catchments. Of these 262 streams, 180 were in catchments with a moderate or high risk of future development. Our results can be used to identify at-risk Brook Trout populations and streams to existing and future stressors from all stages of shale gas development.

Kelly Maloney (Primary Presenter/Author), USGS, kmaloney@usgs.gov;


John Young ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, jyoung@usgs.gov ;


Stephen Faulkner ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, faulkners@usgs.gov ;


Atesmachew Hailegiorgis ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS/Loyola University, ahailegiorgis@luc.edu;


Terry Slonecker ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, tslonecker@usgs.gov ;


Lesley Milheim ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS, lmilheim@usgs.gov ;


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15:00 - 15:15: / 305B LANDSCAPE VULNERABILITY INDICATES SMALL STREAM BASINS AT RISK OF BIOLOGICAL DEGRADATION IN THE FAYETTEVILLE SHALE, AR

6/06/2017  |   15:00 - 15:15   |  305B

Landscape vulnerability indicates small stream basins at risk of biological degradation in the Fayetteville Shale, AR Region-specific human activities, like gas extraction, are often neglected in landscape-stream models, yet their effects may alter streams. Unconventional natural gas (UNG) development requires land-clearing, water withdrawal, and chemicals. The degree that UNG alters water quality may depend on differences in basin natural characteristics. We developed a multi-metric vulnerability model to characterize basin susceptibility to biological degradation by ranking and then multiplying sensitivity and exposure in small stream basins in the Fayetteville Shale, Arkansas. We predicted macroinvertebrate communities in basins exposed to a gradient of UNG in a pasture-dominant landscape would experience a greater change across a vulnerability gradient than basins with only pasture. We sampled macroinvertebrates in 40 basins over a vulnerability gradient in streams with UNG/pasture and pasture only. Macroinvertebrate diversity declined by as much as 88% as vulnerability increased. Macroinvertebrate production metrics increased by 28% across the same vulnerability gradient. Macroinvertebrate response rates of change were the same across UNG and no UNG gradients. Our vulnerability model can be used to identify stream basins vulnerable to degradation as a tool to manage for ecological integrity.

Lucy Baker (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Central Arkansas, lucybaker540@gmail.com;


Michelle Evans-White ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Arkansas, mevanswh@uark.edu;


Sally Entrekin ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Central Arkansas , sentrekin@uca.edu;


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15:15 - 15:30: / 305B SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL TRENDS IN GROUNDWATER QUALITY SURROUNDING SHALE GAS WELLS IN THE MARCELLUS SHALE

6/06/2017  |   15:15 - 15:30   |  

SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL TRENDS IN GROUNDWATER QUALITY SURROUNDING SHALE GAS WELLS IN THE MARCELLUS SHALE Rapid development of the Marcellus Shale, beginning in 2006, has outpaced scientific understanding of the potential impacts on groundwater in the region. Investigations into reports of groundwater contamination have been confounded by lack of baseline data, and by insufficient knowledge of legacy contamination, industry operations, and local hydrogeology. To help address this issue, we have collected time-series groundwater quality and hydrological data from multi-level groundwater monitoring wells installed in Susquehanna County, PA. We utilized prior knowledge of location and timing of industry operations to select locations for monitoring wells. We have collected samples from monitoring wells for approximately two years, on a monthly basis, prior to and throughout tophole and lateral drilling, stimulation of the Marcellus Shale with high volume hydraulic fracturing, and thereafter for seven horizontal shale gas wells installed on the four well pads. Findings from over 400 samples collected to date show that methane isotopic composition, as well as concentrations of trace metals, major ions, and hydrocarbons, exhibit significant variations in space and time. We will present our interpretation of these data in the context of local geology, hydrology, and the timing of shale gas extraction stages.

Erica Barth-Naftilan (Primary Presenter/Author), Yale University , erica.barth@yale.edu;


Jaeeun Sohng ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Yale University, jaeeun.sohng@yale.edu;


James Saiers ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Yale University, james.saiers@yale.edu;


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