Environmental Health - Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

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Fate and Effects of Wastes from Oil and Gas Development Investigation

USGS Scientist with hands in ice hole collecting a sample
Logistics are a big part of field studies as attested to by all the equipment in this photo. USGS scientists are collecting stream water and sediment samples for the analysis of potential chemical and microbiological changes and toxicological effects of wastewater disposal with injection wells. Photo Credit: Denise Akob, USGS.
Sample bottle with a layer of oil (top) and produced water (bottom)

Characterization of Waste Materials

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are characterizing waste water and waste solids produced during UOG development. As part of this work, byproducts from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities that receive wastewater from UOG activities are being identified and quantified.

USGS scientists using a power ice auger on a frozen river

Effects of Waste Materials on Environmental Health

USGS scientists are determining the potential effects of UOG waste materials on water resources and ecosystems. As part of this work scientists are collecting water, soil, and sediment samples from produced-water spill sites.

Four microcosm bottles with labels

Analytical Methods

USGS scientists are developing analytical methods for target compounds generated during UOG development. Scientists are targeting compounds that include potential contaminants of concern or might serve as useful tracers of the waste materials in the event of a release to the environment.

Library bookshelf

Research Plan: Understanding Potential Risks to Water Resources and Environmental Health Associated with Wastes from Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

In order to assess and to manage risks to human and ecosystem health associated with UOG development there is a critical need to understand the composition of the range of solid and liquid wastes generated, to identify potential pathways to the environment, and to evaluate potential effects on receptor organisms from exposure to constituents of these wastes. The highest research priority is to understand pathways to the environment of contaminants from waste materials from the range of UOG activities currently in use and likely to be increasing in importance as resource development proceeds. The research plan provides and overview of the project objectives and approach.

The UOG Research Team

Research Team

Information on the Fate and Effects of Wastes from Oil and Gas Development Investigation research team.


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Page Last Modified: 09-Aug-2017 @ 11:35:53 AM EDT