Ship fracking waste by barge

Marietta Times: Virtually no human activity occurs without some effect on the environment and some risk to human health. Reasonable trade-offs and minimized risk are the keys to our modern way of life.

On one controversial issue, disposing of the wastewater generated by many oil and natural gas drilling operations, the Coast Guard is proposing just such minimizing of risk and impact on the environment.

Coast Guard officials are recommending river transportation, by barge, be permitted for wastewater taken from hydraulic fracturing operations.

Some environmentalists were outraged at the Coast Guard report. They predict dire consequences if millions of gallons of “fracking” wastewater are transported on inland waterways. ...

As proponents of shipping fracking wastewater by barge point out, a variety of hazardous materials have been transported that way for decades with comparatively few problems.

Again, there is risk in virtually all human activities. Minimizing it is the key — and using barges to transport fracking waste may do just that.

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