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Producers Seek OK to Transport "Frack Water" by Barge

An anticipated decision by the U.S. Coast Guard will determine when oil and gas producers can start transporting “frack water” by barge through West Virginia for treatment. “Frack water” is water containing chemicals used by oil and gas production companies in the hydraulic fracturing process.  According to the West Virginia State Journal, if the Coast Guard designates the “frack water” as a hazardous material, then additional regulation and safety measures will be required before barge transportation can begin. As treatment of “frack water” occurs in centrally-located facilities, oil and gas operators must ship the frack water for treatment.  Barge transportation has been identified as a cost-effective method to get the frack water to treatment facilities.