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Pre-Natural Gas Drilling Baseline Monitoring - nj. · PDF filePre-Natural Gas Drilling Baseline Monitoring Report for the Delaware River Delaware River Basin Commission March 2017

Feb 17, 2018

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  • Pre-Natural Gas Drilling

    Baseline Monitoring Report for the Delaware River

    Delaware River Basin Commission

    March 2017

  • 2

    1 Contents Summary ....................................................................................................................................................... 5

    Archived Sample Reanalysis for Metals and Ions ......................................................................................... 6

    Photographic Documentation of Monitoring Effort ............................................................................. 6

    Continuous Monitoring for Conductivity and Temperature ....................................................................... 20

    Photographic Documentation of Monitoring Effort ........................................................................... 20

    Macroinvertebrate Biomonitoring .............................................................................................................. 22

    Toxicity Tests ............................................................................................................................................... 23

    Photographic Documentation of Monitoring Effort ........................................................................... 24

    Radiochemistry Monitoring ........................................................................................................................ 27

    Baseline Radiochemistry Outputs and Outcomes .................................................................................. 30

    Monitoring over the Flow Regime ...................................................................................................... 30

    Summary of Radiochemistry Results .................................................................................................. 30

    Interpretation of Low Activity Level Measurements .......................................................................... 33

    Comparison of Results to DRBC Surface Water Quality Standards .................................................... 33

    Conclusions ......................................................................................................................................... 34

    Photographic Documentation of Monitoring Effort ........................................................................... 34

    Appendices

    Appendix A: Archived Sample Reanalysis Results

    Appendix B: Baseline Results for Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sites

    Appendix C: Monitoring for Baseline Radiochemistry before Natural Gas Development

    in the Delaware River Basin

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    List of Tables

    Table 1: Specific Conductivity (S/cm) for monitoring locations in the Upper Delaware watershed ... 20

    Table 2: Chronic toxicity tests in ambient stream water ......................................................................... 25

    Table 3: Toxicity tests of a natural gas drilling produced water sample ................................................. 26

    Table 4: Radiochemistry Sampling Locations and Coordinates ............................................................... 29

    List of Figures

    Figure 1: Map of Delaware River Basin underlain by Marcellus shale ...................................................... 6

    Figure 2: Delaware River Mainstem (ICP) and Tributary (BCP) Monitoring Locations and River Miles ... 7

    Figure 3: Box and whisker plot of barium concentrations in mg/L ordered by River Mile from archived

    samples for Interstate Control Points (ICP) corresponding the mainstem Delaware River and Boundary

    Control Points (BCP) which are the tributaries. .......................................................................................... 8

    Figure 4: Box and whisker plot of calcium concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs. .... 9

    Figure 5: Box and whisker plot of magnesium concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs

    .................................................................................................................................................................... 10

    Figure 6: Box and whisker plot of magnesium concentrations ordered ICPs only, highlighting the

    longitudinal structure. ............................................................................................................................... 11

    Figure 7: Box and whisker plot of Manganese concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs.

    .................................................................................................................................................................... 12

    Figure 8: Box and whisker plot of potassium concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs.

    .................................................................................................................................................................... 13

    Figure 9: Box and whisker plot of sodium concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs. ... 14

    Figure 10: Box and whisker plot of sodium concentrations ordered ICPs only, highlighting the

    longitudinal structure. ............................................................................................................................... 15

    Figure 11: Box and whisker plot of strontium concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs.

    .................................................................................................................................................................... 16

    Figure 12: Box and whisker plot of strontium concentrations ordered ICPs only, highlighting the

    longitudinal structure. ............................................................................................................................... 17

    Figure 13: Box and whisker plot of sulfate concentrations ordered by River Mile for ICPs and BCPs. .. 18

    Figure 14: Box and whisker plot of sulfate concentrations ordered ICPs only, highlighting the

    longitudinal structure. ............................................................................................................................... 19

    Figure 15: Six HOBO monitoring locations in the Upper Delaware watershed .................................... 21

    Figure 16: Biomonitoring at 28 watersheds sampled in 2011 ................................................................. 23

    Figure 17: Baseline radiochemistry sampling sites .................................................................................. 28

    Figure 18: Flow on radiochemistry monitoring Days at the USGS Delaware River at Callicoon Gage

    01427510 plotted against the probability of exceedance curve for this location. .................................. 30

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    Figure 19: Activity measurements for four radiochemistry parameters collected on the mainstem

    Delaware River compared to discharge at the USGS Callicoon, NY Gage on the monitoring day. ......... 31

    Figure 20: Activity Measurements for four radiochemistry parameters collected on the mainstem

    Delaware River compared to the river mile of the monitoring location.................................................. 32

    Figure 21: Box and whisker plots of activity measurements for four radiochemistry parameters in field

    blanks, tributary, and mainstem Delaware River surface water samples. .............................................. 33

  • 5

    Summary Approximately 36% of the Delaware River Basin is underlain by the Marcellus shale formation that is

    known to contain deposits of natural gas (Figure 1). The formation underlays a portion of the Basins

    Special Protection Waters (SPW) area, which is protected by regulations that require no measurable

    change to existing water quality. By monitoring SPW and establishing pre-gas drilling water quality

    conditions, DRBC will be in a stronger position to evaluate potential impacts from gas development and

    to compel remedial action if impacts do occur. DRBC baseline monitoring initiatives in the Upper Delaware

    River Basin, in order to characterize water resources before any natural gas related activities occurred,

    include: 1) archived sample reanalysis for metals and ions at over 55 ICP/BCP sites, 2) continuous water

    chemistry every 15 minutes for conductivity and temperature at 6 sites using HOBO monitors, 3)

    macroinvertebrate sampling from over 100 sites, 4) toxicity testing at 4 sites, and 5) discrete water

    chemistry for radionuclides at 32 sites. This report summarizes all the baseline monitoring efforts and

    results in portions of the Upper Delaware River Basin most likely to see impacts of natural gas

    development should that activity occur. Monitoring activities under this program have allowed the DRBC

    to establish a strong data set of pre-gas drilling concentrations of important hydraulic fracturing indicator

    parameters such as barium and strontium; a year-round specific conductivity data set at key water quality

    management locations; and a solid radiochemistry baseline for comparison with future radiochemistry

    levels which will be useful for comparison to any post-gas development water quality conditions. The

    biomonitoring samples collected during this effort, combined with the existing state and federal

    biomonitoring results from these same watersheds, should provide a robust and relatively complete

    baseline from which to assess any future natural gas development within these watersheds. In