Waste Management & Recycling
Special permits, mandates, and company responsibilities related to waste are developed at the corporate level. Waste program details, such as standard operating procedures, regulatory compliance, safe work practices, and vendor (e.g. supplier and contractors) audits, are developed at the field level and approved at the corporate level to guarantee quality and consistency. The inclusion of field level operational staff promotes a well-balanced platform to monitor and regulate waste on a day-to-day basis.
The typical waste hierarchy involves four steps: Identification & Source Reduction, Recycle/Reuse, Treatment, and Disposal. Steps are taken by operations to eliminate, minimize or recycle waste streams with oversight provided by Antero’s HSSE department. Data is collected and reported at the corporate level.
Waste generated from all of Antero’s operations are characterized, managed, and disposed of in accordance with regulatory requirements. Waste streams are primarily treated, recycled, or disposed of within the Appalachian Basin: West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Each state’s regulatory requirements dictate the organization and direction of the disposal process. The only instances whereby waste is disposed of outside of these three states has been for NORM/TENORM waste that exceeds the acceptance criteria for oil and gas waste, as defined by state-specific regulations. These NORM/TENORM wastes are disposed of at approved facilities outside the Appalachian region.
Prior to onboarding and regardless of waste type, disposal facilities are subject to a pre-approval process where subject matter experts perform an audit of regulatory records. Antero representatives conduct routine site visits and audits of our approved disposal facilities.
Antero tracks waste from cradle to grave, regardless of operational origin and characterization. Non-hazardous waste manifests are generated at the point of origin and signed by Antero representatives. Manifests identify the type and quantity of waste, transportation company, final disposal facility, and require signatures to identify the responsible parties. For production and flowback waters, “Bills of Lading” are used to track the same information as the non-hazardous waste manifest. Antero’s permanent facilities at well locations are equipped with electronic metering devices that send live data from the well sites to confirm produced water volumes leaving the site. The nonhazardous waste manifests and Bills of Lading are returned to Antero when the disposal facility submits its invoices, which are filed in an Antero database.
Antero’s HSSE Department has developed and implemented a Safe Work Practice as part of Antero’s identification and management of NORM/TENORMs associated with our operations, such as produced water pit cleanouts and tank cleaning operations. The safe work practice requires Antero’s contractors and subcontractors who perform or supervise work-related functions involving NORM/TENORM on Antero’s assets to have a Radiation Protection Program (RPP) in place. At a minimum, their RPP shall comply with workers’ and members of the public regulatory occupational dose limits, outline as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles, and provide for audits to verify compliance. The level of NORM/TENORM is generally ascertained through either a dose rate survey of activity (uR/hr or mR/hr) or lab analytical samples of radionuclide concentration (pCi/g). Based on these results, Antero and our contractors will determine the most appropriate means of transport, treatment and/or disposal. In addition to the safe work practice, Antero maintains a Radiation Safety Officer, a trained, full-time employee who oversees radiation activities so that they are performed safely and in accordance with regulatory requirements, ALARA principles, and Antero’s policies and Procedures.
Antero’s waste streams associated with the exploration, development or production of natural gas are considered non-hazardous, in accordance with EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Exclusion for Oil and Gas E&P Waste. There are certain activities, such as production tank cleanings, that may cause waste to be classified as a hazardous material under current U.S. DOT regulations. DOT hazardous materials require proper packaging, segregation, marking, labeling and placarding for the transport of the material, but does not dictate whether or not the material is a hazardous waste under RCRA regulations.
1. The above numbers do not include completions, production and water from activities such as frac tank, production tank and pit cleanouts and drill-outs. Antero started tracking these waste totals in 2018 and will be reporting them in the future. Antero does not incinerate its waste.
Antero strives to reduce residual waste from exploration and production processes whenever possible. Examples of waste reduction in drilling and completions include:
- Closed loop systems.
- Drilling utilizes a closed loop system for managing our drilling residual waste in both the Marcellus and Utica plays. The closed loop system is