Last updated: March 03. 2014 11:36PM - 2902 Views
By Jon O’Connell joconnell@civitasmedia.com

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A town hall meeting between Lake Township residents and developers might not change any hearts, but one real estate investor said he believes he can at least answer any questions about a proposed waste-water treatment center.

“They can make their own opinion based on what we show them. But anything they can ask, we can answer.” 4P Realty partner Rodney Passeri said.

4P owns 605 acres in Lake Township now under consideration by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Luzerne County Planning Commission for a frack-water recycling facility.

The proposed site would cover just under an acre of the land, not including the access road, and is likely to hold between 28 and 40 22,000-gallon tanks for storing and recycling water that has been used in the natural gas-extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Neighbors and anti-fracking activists have largely spoken out against the facility, taking issue with increased truck traffic in the area, the possibility of an accident damaging the environment and air pollution.

Maps depicting the proposed site’s location show it sitting just west of Meeker Outlet Road and about a mile north of state Route 118. The property now is zoned for agriculture, and the county zoning hearing board must grant a variance before the facility can be built.

Waveco Energy Services, a company that supplies three gas drilling companies with fresh water from the Susquehanna River, would operate the facility and use a passive filtration system in which water travels from tank to tank allowing mud and drill cuttings sink to the bottom.

The filtered water would be reused for hydraulic fracturing and the cuttings would be hauled away to an appropriate landfill. Waveco officials have said the drilling companies want to recycle the water they use during fracking instead of sending it to deep injection wells for disposal.

Passeri, who is also a part owner for Waveco’s water withdrawal site in Berwick, said a meeting with residents has not been discussed. One Lake Township supervisor said the board was not immediately ready to comment on the matter.

“I still think a meeting is in order,” Passeri said. “I know a lot of people down there. I think they’re owed that.”

The real estate investor said he met many township residents when 4P Realty planned to lease the land to a drilling company in 2010. Plans to drill were dropped when testing showed insufficient gas reserves below the property.

Waveco had planned to present its case to the Luzerne County Zoning Hearing Board today, but requested more time as the company wants to clear up deficiencies in a permit application with DEP.

A meeting between DEP and Waveco planners is scheduled for March 11, and Waveco asked for an extension to approach the zoning hearing board on June 3.

4P is not dodging a meeting with Lake Township residents, Passeri said.

He surmised lines were crossed at the beginning of the year as newly elected township officials were taking office, and the meeting never happened. He said he is still optimistic he and his Waveco partners can gather with residents to hopefully abate their concerns.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t have another meeting,” Passeri said. “There’s plenty of time from here until June.”

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