Andrew Maykuth | March 10, 2011 | Reposted from the Philadelphia Inquirer

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s statistics on Marcellus Shale natural-gas activity contain serious flaws and inconsistencies, and do not accurately report the volume of wastewater being reused in the industry’s much-touted recycling efforts.

The DEP’s most recent statewide statistics on wastewater production overstate by nearly two times the amount of wastewater produced during the last six months of 2010 largely because one of the 39 operators who filed reports last month inadvertently entered the wrong data in its forms.

Seneca Resources Corp. says it mistakenly reported the number of gallons of wastewater it generated as barrels. A barrel contains 42 gallons, so Seneca’s numbers were hugely inflated. And so was the amount of water that it reportedly recycled.

As a result, the 5.2 million barrels of waste that Seneca misstated in the reports accounted for half the entire state’s volume of 10.6 million barrels, though Seneca produced only about 3 percent of the Marcellus Shale natural gas extracted during that six-month period.

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