Coast Guard Makes Push to Move Fracking Wastewater by Barge

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Parts of the spire for the Freedom Tower make their way on a barge from Port Newark to lower Manhattan where they will be unloaded and installed on top of the Freedom Tower starting tomorrow on December 11, 2012 in New York City. The barge is carrying nine pieces of steel that will eventually top off One World Trade Center at a symbolic 1,776 feet, becoming the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  (National Journal)

The Coast Guard is pushing a proposal to ship fracking wastewater through inland waterways by barge, Fuel Fix reports.

Currently, water that is set to be disposed of is transported by truck or rail for use in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling operations. Supporters of the proposal to ship wastewater by barge note, however, that a single barge can carry a much higher volume of wastewater than trucks or railway tankers and that waterway transit has a much lower risk of spills or accidents than movement by rail or truck.

Environmentalists have criticized the idea, saying that if a spill were to occur it would have much more serious consequences because it could wind up polluting vast quantities of water and contaminate drinking-water supplies.