The following is a transcript of the Dec. 15, 2011, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.
Hi, I'm Angela Godwin, digital media editor for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you this week's water and wastewater news headlines. Coming up...
• Colorado approves nation's toughest fracking rules
• Leaking water tank forces evacuation in NH
• Chicago water agency reaches settlement
• Bulgaria water utility penalized for overcharging
This week, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission unanimously approved a new rule requiring drillers to disclose all the chemicals -- and their concentrations -- used in the hydraulic fracturing process.
The rule -- which is the toughest one yet in the United States -- came after some intense negotiations among stakeholders, many of whom had concerns that divulging 'trade secret' information would enable competitors to reverse-engineer their products.
As a compromise, the rule will require drillers to identify the chemicals and their concentrations but not specify which products they go into.
There will also be a new form requiring a company to attest -- under penalty of perjury -- that a chemical is proprietary.
Other highlights of the rule:
- The list of fracking fluid chemicals and concentrations must be filed within 60 days of the fracking job
- The list will be filed with FracFocus.org, a publicly accessible independent Internet database
- And background information on fracking must be sent to property owners near wells, including details on how to have a baseline well-water test done.
A leaking Rochester, NH, water tank this week prompted officials to evacuate residents and business within a quarter mile of the site.
Residents reported seeing 'gallons of water' leaking from the base of the cylindrical million-gallon-tank.
Concerned that the 70-foot tank might rupture led to the decision to evacuate.
Officials were able to drain the 25-year-old tank and are now inspecting it to find out what could have caused the breach.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has entered into a settlement with the U.S. EPA and the state of Illinois resolving allegations that the water agency has been violating the Clean Water Act by not properly treating sewage and wastewater.
Under the settlement, MWRD, which manages nearly 900 square miles of waterways in the Chicago-area, will work to complete a tunnel and reservoir plan to increase its capacity to handle wet weather events and address CSOs. They will also be required to implement a green infrastructure program to reduce stormwater runoff.
The water agency has also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $675,000.
In international news...
Sofiyska Voda, the water utility serving Bulgaria's capital city of Sofia, is being accused of overcharging some of its wastewater customers.
A routine investigation found that the water utility overcharged bank offices, having used the water treatment tariff intended for industrial enterprises.
Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation issued a "statement of administrative offence" against the water agency for 200,000 Bulgarian lev, the equivalent of $135,000 US dollars.
Sofiyska Voda has filed an objection to the order.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.