2 groups sue W. Pa. sewage plant over Marcellus shale wastewater

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Two environmental groups have sued a Pittsburgh-area municipal sewage plant that has never formally approved a ban on accepting wastewater from Marcellus Shale drilling, even though the plant’s head says it stopped treating such water months ago.

The lawsuit, was filed today against the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport by Clean Water Action and Three Rivers Waterkeeper.

The state Department of Environmental Protection in April asked sewage plants to stop treating the salty, chemically tainted wastewater that can result from the Marcellus Shale drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Joe Rost, executive director of the McKeesport authority, tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the plant has complied with the DEP’s request and doesn’t plan to take any more wastewater.

The lawsuit wants a judge to formally ban the practice to safeguard the Monongahela River, which provides drinking water to the Pittsburgh and several suburbs.