The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 23, 2013

Authority’s plant proposal stalls after promising start


JOHNSTOWN — Permit process continues

Permitting through the Department of Environmental Protection was taking longer than expected, he wrote.  

“Unfortunately, the timing places us in the dead of winter, but we anticipate that we will resume construction at the Iron Street site in a matter of weeks,” he concluded, adding that the pilot plant should be operational by mid- to late-summer.

John Poister, a DEP spokesman, confirmed that Aspen has applied for a permit to dispose of the “sludge” in a landfill. The state sent followup questions to Aspen in December and is waiting on the company’s response.

Aspen has not applied for a permit to discharge treated water, Poister added.

The pilot plant will demonstrate the process’s viability for drilling companies looking for treatment options. Many now ship waste water to sites in Ohio where it is injected back into deep wells, Balta said in December.

Others are developing on-site treatment systems, but Aspen’s website points out that those will require more inspectors to monitor.

“Aspen anticipates that a centralized facility that provides comprehensive water analysis of both incoming water and outgoing will be desirable from a regulatory perspective,” the website says.

Aspen “uses patented and proprietary technology licensed to the company,” but does not identify the patent holder. In another section there is a reference to “technology partner” that has been using part of the process since 1998.

The website lists the EADS Group of Altoona and Hunt Construction Group of Scottsdale, Ariz., as “project development partners.”

Steve Sewalk of EADS confirmed the local engineering and architectural firm is assisting with the DEP permits, but had no details about the actual process or business plan.

Messages left with Hunt’s public relations office were not returned, and Reifsnyder wrote Hunt is not authorized to comment on his project.

Calls to Aspen’s corporate headquarters go directly to Reifsnyder’s voice mail.

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