BP STUDY CONFIRMS SAFETY OF DEEPWELLS
BP STUDY CONFIRMS SAFETY OF DEEPWELLS LIMA, Ohio, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- BP Chemicals announced today the
submission of a technical study to the U.S. EPA that confirms the safety of the deepwell system used for the disposal of acrylonitrile wastewater at its Lima, Ohio site. The study includes the results from a $4 million test well drilled at the site in 1991 and more than three years of scientific review.
"With the completion of the stratigraphic test well, BP Chemicals has now compiled the most comprehensive site specific data of any deep well operator in the country," said plant manager James Walpole. "As a result, we believe that BP Chemicals has substantially exceeded U.S. EPA's requirements to demonstrate that wastes do not migrate from the permitted injection area. We are confident that the data we collected will result in approval of our No Migration Petition." The technical study is contained in 18 volumes and was conducted in order to meet the U.S. EPA's No Migration Petition exemption for hazardous waste disposal in deepwells. All U.S. companies that use deepwells for hazardous waste disposal must demonstrate that wastes will remain sealed underground for a minimum of 10,000 years, or until the waste breaks down and is no longer hazardous. According to Walpole, the most significant data given to the U.S. EPA was obtained by voluntarily drilling a 3,400-foot test well completed last summer. The well was used to physically check the underground geologic formations and to confirm that the injected waste remained within the injection zone. More than 2,200 feet of rock cores were collected, and then analyzed by expert geologists. The analysis concluded that the injected wastes are, indeed, sealed within the injected area. As part of this study, a computer model was developed using the Lima site specific data to predict the future containment of wastes. The model was able to match reservoir responses generated during field injection testing. "We have been extremely pleased with the very high degree of accuracy exhibited by this computer model," said Ralph A. DeLeonardis, manager of health, safety and environmental quality for Lima Chemicals. "It is one of the most highly calibrated computer models presented to the U.S. EPA." The core material from the stratigraphic test well drilling not only demonstrated the effectiveness of the deepwell disposal system, but also provides an extensive and valuable resource of information to geologists and other researchers. BP is actively pursuing contacts with universities and educational institutions to determine how this information can be used to improve the scientific community's understanding of Ohio and regional geology. BACKGROUND INFORMATION BP Lima Chemicals has used deep wells since 1968 to dispose of a waste solution from the production of acrylonitrile, a key chemical in fibers and plastics. The solution, consisting of 95 percent water, 4 percent salts and about 1 percent organics, is injected 3,000 feet below ground where it is sealed in geologic formations, much like oil deposits are trapped for millions of years. The enclosed deep well system eliminates air and water pollution. In addition to information from the test well, data contained in the BP Chemicals No Migration Petition include: -- Seismic surveys -- Analysis of other wells (oil, gas, water, etc.) within a 10-mile radius to ensure there's no escape route for injected materials -- Tectonics, or earth movement tendencies, in the area -- Hydrology studies to detail location of drinking water -- Geochemistry of the geologic formations containing the injected liquids to ensure that wastes will safely combine with liquids already present at that depth -- Detailed description of the chemical manufacturing process and the waste stream, BP Chemicals' waste analysis plans and procedures -- Analysis of the region's geology through drill cuttings, rock cores and data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources -- Computer modeling to predict the position of the wastes for the next 10,000 years Scientific modeling in the petition was based on the possibility of converting the voluntary test well into a fourth deep well. The additional well would further increase the overall safety and reliability of the system, yet would not increase the volume of injected wastes. The company must obtain a separate permit from Ohio EPA to operate an additional well. The BP Chemicals' No Migration Petition will be reviewed over the next several months by the U.S. EPA. A public hearing will follow in Lima to obtain public comments. -0- 11/19/91 /CONTACT: Tom Koch, 216-586-6511, or Tony Kozlowski, 216-586-5577, both of BP Chemicals/ CO: BP Chemicals ST: Ohio IN: CHM SU: LC -- CL005 -- 4851 11/19/91 10:11 EST
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|Date:||Nov 19, 1991|
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