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Marion County Commission Welcomes Fairmont Brine Processing To County

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FAIRMONT -

The Marion County Development Authority made a special announcement about a new business at Wednesday's County Commission meeting.

Fairmont Brine Processing is a brand new business that serves as an environmentally friendly alternative for the management of flowback and produced water from regional share plays.

It is located on the site of the former AOP Clearwater brine facility and will provide many unique services to Marion County.

Brian Kalt, Fairmont Brine Processing General Manager, said AOP was shut down due to "miscalculations in the design process".

The location of the facility provides for a "strategic opportunity to service the shale gas sector's demand for clean water".

While other facilities can do pretreatment, concentration, and deep well injection, Fairmont Brine Processing is the only full flowback and produced water solution that requires no deep well injection or recycling of brine to customers to operate.

"It goes through an initial treatment process which separates out all the solids, organics, heavy gas, barium, heavy metals, etc.," Kalt said. "It produces a treated brine which can be used in the drilling and fracturing process as well as dewinterizing."

After pretreatment, the fluid is transferred into the evaporation and crystallization process.

"It produces distilled water and that can be reused in the drilling and fracturing process," Kalt said. "Ultimately, it produces a sodium chloride rock salt which can be used on the roads for winter applications as well."

Fairmont Brine Processing is the only fully permitted Marcellus and Utica Shale flowback and produced water evaporation and crystallization solution. Once it is completely up and running on May 1, they will be producing 80 tons of salt a day.

Kalt said the state of West Virginia used 236,000 tons of salt this winter, compared to the normal 100,000 tons.

Marion County Commissioners said having Fairmont Brine Processing in its back yard will help supply the county with salt throughout the winter and save municipalities money in the process.

"The price for salt is $55 a ton. He said they can mark it at way cheaper then that to us," said Butch Tennant, Marion County Commission. "Buying as much salt as we used this winter, that's a big savings."

The company brings 25 new job opportunities to the Fairmont area and employees will have full benefits.

"Anytime we have people working its great for the county. It is a great day for Marion County," Commissioner Tennant said.

Fairmont Brine Processing has been up and running since August but officials said it will be in full operation as of May 1. They have already began discussing the idea of a second plant in the county.