Drilling fluids pooled at a land-application disposal facility near Carlisle.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has issued an emergency order to Fayetteville Shale Land Farms, LLC, a drilling waste land-application site located about three miles west of Carlisle, citing numerous violations and ordering the company to stop accepting fluids for disposal.
ADEQ inspectors found oil in the “staging pond,” or reserve pit, where drilling fluids are stored before being land-applied. These fluids are supposed to be water-based and contain no oil. The ADEQ permit prohibits the disposal of frac-water and other oil-based drilling fluids at these sites. The walls around the pit were also insufficient, failing to meet the 24 inch requirement set forth by the permit. Fluids were also over-applied to the land which resulted in pooling (as pictured above).
Probably most disturbing, inspectors found that drilling fluids had been applied within 100 feet of White Oak Branch, a stream that runs nearby. Water samples taken from the creek show a significantly higher level of conductivity downstream than upstream.
These types of violations are not new. Other land-application sites around the state have consistently violated state regulations. This is the first one, that I know of, that has resulted in an emergency order calling on the owners to stop what they’re doing. How novel? You break the rules, you don’t get to play anymore.
You can read the order here.