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Frequently Asked Questions

Antero Clearwater Facility

Across all of its operations, including its new water treatment and reuse facility, Antero places a high value on encouraging and maintaining an open and constructive dialogue aimed at further improving the communities where the company is privileged to work. We are committed to answering your questions and will periodically update the FAQ page. Please submit inquiries to CommunityRelations@AnteroResources.com.

Why is Antero constructing this facility?

The facility is being constructed to:

  • Develop a long-term solution that is beneficial to stakeholders beyond Antero’s direct interests;
  • Further advance Antero’s water philosophy towards fresh and produced water management;
  • Create an alternative to wastewater disposal wells that is economically viable;
  • Serve as an example of Antero’s commitment to continuous improvement;
  • Further centralize Antero’s operational footprint aimed at environmental and community safety; and
  • Build on the immense success of Antero’s freshwater delivery system by further reducing truck traffic.
Who are the project partners?

Antero is proud to partner with Veolia – the project’s lead contractor – which has designed, built and operated numerous facilities that treat oil and natural gas wastewater to high-quality levels across the nation. As a global leader, Veolia designs and provides sustainable environmental, energy and water management solutions.

What are the project's environmental and economic benefits?
  • The facility’s environmental benefits include decreasing truck traffic, improving air quality, reducing withdrawals from West Virginia’s water resources, and all but eliminating the need for wastewater disposal wells.
  • Oil and gas activity-related water is typically disposed of through wastewater disposal wells; however, this facility will eliminate the need for more than 60 wastewater disposal wells over the life of the facility.
  • Additionally, once fully operational, the facility has the potential to reduce water truck travel by more than 10 million miles annually. This reduction builds upon Antero’s existing freshwater system, which successfully removed 820,000 water truck trips since 2014 alone. This facility is centrally located to Antero’s operations such that trucks hauling Antero’s oil and gas activity-related water will travel significantly fewer miles on W. Va.’s public roads than would be the case if the wastewater were hauled to various disposal wells.
  • Less truck traveled miles also means less greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, we project that the facility will result in a reduction of 30,000 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions because of the reduction in truck traveled miles.
  • The project will generate significant tax revenue for the region as well as job creation. Construction of the facility – which represents a $275 million investment – will support nearly 250 construction jobs and once operational, will directly support 21 permanent employees as well as 25 supply chain service jobs.
How will it be regulated?

Across all of its operations, Antero is committed to meeting or exceeding all regulatory requirements. Likewise, the facility requires a number of federal and state permits from multiple agencies, including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, W. Va. Department of Environmental Protection, W. Va. Department of Transportation, and various other state and local agencies.

How will recycled water be used?

The water treatment and reuse facility’s effluent water will be transported through Antero’s integrated freshwater distribution system for reuse in well completions activities. Unlike conventional recycling techniques, this innovative approach will clean water to surface discharge standards, even though the goal is operational reuse rather than discharge.

What about NORM and TENORM?
  • There will be no increase in public exposure to NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material) or TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material) as a result of this facility.
  • We are all exposed to NORM as part of daily life. Surface rocks and soils contain NORM.
  • NORM is present in flowback and produced water due to the rock properties that the water contacts during the completion and production of a natural gas well. The facility is designed to accept water containing NORM, remove that NORM, and segregate it into a separate waste stream. The segregated waste stream can be considered TENORM based on the technological means of removing NORM from the delivered water.
  • The effluent water and salt products will not contain NORM or TENORM. Further, the separate waste stream segregated during the treatment process will be transported to an appropriately licensed facility for ultimate disposal.
How about groundwater protection?
  • Protecting and enhancing our environment is a top Antero priority. As such, Antero – along with independent third-party experts – carefully evaluated the site’s current environmental conditions. The regional saturated groundwater zone, for example, is located up to 60 feet below the site. Silt and claystone layers are located immediately beneath the site, mitigating any vertical migration of water.
  • From an environmental engineering perspective, the facility is designed with automated controls and includes operational procedures to prevent spills from activities and equipment on site, including, for example, tanks, vessels, pipes and valves. Even so, primary, secondary and tertiary containment are included in the facility design. In particular, all truck offload locations are designed with concrete pads and sumps.
  • Further, all storage and piping of wastewater on site occurs above the surface of the ground, where it is easily visible by the round-the-clock operations personnel. There are no underground tanks and pits used for the storage of wastewater.
  • Additionally, Antero voluntarily collected pre-construction water samples as well as extensive sampling for nearby water wells and springs and distributed the results to landowners as a courtesy. While these measures were not required, Antero conducted the independent testing to ensure the environment – including groundwater – is protected.
Is the facility secure?

Absolutely. The water treatment and reuse facility will be continuously manned and operated. Comprehensive monitoring programs and site security will be in place to ensure environmental, community, and workforce safety.

If I am a nearby resident, how will this facility affect local traffic?
  • Siting of the facility is key to minimization of local traffic impacts. The facility is sited within two-tenths of a mile to U.S. Route 50. This means that daily vehicular traffic will travel the major public highway, Route 50, to get to the facility, and will have only a short distance to travel to enter the facility.
  • Antero has previously hired third party experts to evaluate the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Sunnyside Road from a traffic engineering perspective. As a result of the study, plans are currently under review with the West Virginia Division of Highways. The outcome of the review will likely result in an extension of the existing deceleration and turn lanes at a minimum, with the possibility of a traffic signal addition. Antero has volunteered to fund any required upgrades.
What can I expect to hear from the facility?

Very little. Our sound studies reflect that noise from the facility will not be greater than the sound of a lawnmower at the edge of the facility. Facility design incorporates sound attenuation through the use of buildings as needed. Further, Antero has purchased or obtained the right to purchase property that will provide for a buffer zone between nearby residents. In fact, the closest occupied home to the facility is approximately one-quarter of a mile away on the opposite side of U.S. Route 50. The location of the site also lends itself to natural sound mitigation due to the surrounding ridgelines and proximity to U.S. Route 50. Consequently, this facility is not expected to audibly impact the community due to its low impact design, acquired land buffers and sound attenuation from the existing ridgelines.

Landfill Facility

Antero places a high value on encouraging and maintaining an open and constructive dialogue with stakeholders aimed at further improving the communities where the company is privileged to work. We are committed to answering your questions and will periodically update the FAQ page. Please submit inquiries to CommunityRelations@AnteroResources.com.

What is the purpose of the landfill?
  • Produced water is a common waste stream associated with most all oil and gas production. Like other aspects of oil and gas operations that involve water, handling this wastewater can be an invasive aspect of resource development. In dealing with this waste stream, most operators rely on a combination of options that typically require storage of wastewater in pits and wastewater disposal wells.
  • In constructing its water treatment and reuse facility, Antero is again leading the industry in investing significant capital into drastically reducing its impacts on the environment and the public. This treatment facility, in combination with the landfill, allows Antero to convert almost 98 percent of its wastewater into clean products: salt and freshwater. It virtually eliminates Antero’s need to use storage pits and wastewater disposal wells.
  • The water treatment process will separate incoming water and associated solids, including salt that will comprise approximately 92 percent of all solid byproducts from the facility. Moreover, a large percentage of the salt is of such high quality that it will be commercially marketable. The remaining salt will be of landfill-quality.
  • Antero has filed its application with the W.Va. DEP, Division of Water and Waste Management, to operate a landfill on company-owned property to properly dispose of residual salt. The proposed permit would only authorize disposal of salt and would not authorize disposal of any other industrial, commercial or residential waste at the landfill.
How will groundwater be protected?
  • The facility’s enhanced design provides environmental protection at a state-of-the-art level, including the landfill’s multiple liners that create redundant layers of groundwater protection. Like much of this facility’s design, these added layers of environmental protection significantly exceed regulatory requirements. In fact, Antero has chosen to add a geo-synthetic clay liner (GCL) as well as an additional 60-mil high density polyethylene (HDPE) to the overall design of the facility in an effort to exceed regulatory requirements. From base soil our liner system includes:
    1. Six inch thick compacted clay soil component, demonstrating permeability values more conservative than regulatory requirements.
    2. 60 mil HDPE secondary geomembrane liner
    3. A double sided geo-composite leachate detection zone.
    4. 12 inch compacted soil liner demonstrating permeability values more conservative than regulatory requirements.
    5. GCL providing the same hydraulic protection as several feet of compacted clay.
    6. 60 mil HDPE primary geomembrane liner
    7. Geotextile cushion
    8. 18 inch protective cover and leachate collection zone (clean sand or pea gravel)
  • Another reason the facility will not pose a risk to groundwater is because of the geologic conditions of the site. We know this because of the extensive subsurface studies that have been conducted to fully understand the geologic structure and hydrogeology of the entire site. In addition to the conservative design approach for the liner system, the site itself is underlain with low-permeability rock and soil and will be constructed near a high ridgeline, thus further safeguarding groundwater.
  • As an additional measure of protection, multiple monitoring wells have been strategically installed to monitor groundwater over the life of the landfill’s operation and beyond. Samples will be routinely collected and analyzed by environmental experts and submitted to the W.Va. DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management.
What should the community expect in terms of activity levels?
  • The landfill has been purposely designed and located to minimize its impact to the public. For example, the site is located within two thirds of a mile from Route 50, which will contain activity to a very limited area. Moreover, the landfill will have a natural barrier from Route 50 due to site topography and existing dense vegetation.
  • The water treatment and reuse facility and landfill create efficiencies that further reduce operational activities including truck traffic. Specifically, all salt being disposed of in the proposed landfill – which represents approximately 92 percent of the total daily tonnage of solids from the water treatment facility – will be transported within the limits of Antero’s property and will not require the use of public roads.
  • To further limit impacts to the community, additional best practices that often exceed regulatory requirements will be utilized. Such efforts include closely monitoring and utilizing permitted dust suppression techniques. Our planned paving of applicable access roads throughout facility will further limit dust.
What is in the salt and can it be used for de-icing roads?
  • Test results using state – and nationally – recognized waste characterization methods, such as TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure), to identify any potentially hazardous characteristics have shown this salt to be benign. These findings are outlined in Antero’s W.Va. DEP landfill permit.
  • Chemical properties of the salt display great potential for byproduct recovery and Antero does intend to market the salts for commercial applications. Current W.Va. DEP guidelines do not allow for the use of untreated shale-related brine for de-icing roads. However, much of the treated salt that will be stored in the facility’s landfill is of similar or better composition than salts currently used on roadways. Given that much of the salt is of high quality, Antero continues to explore additional options for its beneficial re-use.
Is this W.Va.'s first salt landfill?

No. In fact, there is another landfill of this type located 30 miles away in Marion County that is used for desalination of water associated with coal mining activities.

Will TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material) be disposed of in this landfill?

No. While current regulatory requirements and standards for oil and natural gas-related TENORM materials are still being defined, Antero’s pending landfill permit is exclusively for the storage and disposal of salts removed from water treated at the reuse facility. The salt produced by the plant is below naturally occurring radiation levels and poses no exposure hazard to workers or the public.

Where will TENORM materials go?

TENORM materials associated with the water treatment and reuse process will be responsibly disposed of in appropriately permitted landfills following strict regulations and environmental safeguards, just as it is done now across the industry.

How will leachate be managed?
  • In all landfill operations, minimizing leachate and maximizing compaction of placed materials are of utmost importance. In many ways, these objectives will be easier to achieve in this particular landfill. Typical municipal landfills must address fluids included in a wide array of waste types ranging from household trash to construction debris. This landfill is comprised of a single waste type that is an earthen material which readily compacts and has a limited moisture content.
  • This landfill is unique in that leachate will not discharge to an open water source. All leachate will be collected from the facility in double-sided geo-composite drainage material, which is a proven groundwater and environmental protection system. All leachate will be transferred back to the treatment and reuse facility for processing. Antero will leverage this safe and environmentally responsible operational enhancement across the entire landfill.
How will heavy rainfall and potential runoff be managed?
  • During periods of heavy rainfall, an extensive coverage system will be used to keep the landfilled material as dry as possible. Additionally, onsite buildings are sized to allow for temporary storage of salts during inclement weather.
  • The perimeter of the landfill is designed with robust storm water diversion channels to limit the potential for inflow of rainwater into the site.