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Report Illustrates Scope, Location and Potential Impacts of Marcellus Build-out in Pennsylvania

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marce...Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Delaware Riverkeeper Network: 

Irreparable harm and permanent degradation from shale gas development forecasted

Pennsylvania – Delaware Riverkeeper Network released a technical report today that forecasts in Pennsylvania where gas extraction may occur, the possible scope of shale gas development in the Interior Marcellus, and a sampling of the potential environmental impacts that will occur. 

Resources such as water, land, and forests that will be indelibly affected by the development of the state’s shale gas reserves, including infrastructure such as gathering pipelines and related compressors, are examined in terms of location, quantity and quality of impacts.  An Atlas of interactive maps of Pennsylvania that illustrate the impacts accompanies the report entitled “The Environmental Impacts of Full-development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania”.

“This analysis is important for showing the public and decisionmakers, what are some of the real world ramifications of increasing shale gas development using drilling and fracking techniques in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Shale gas development is going to inflict irreparable harm on Pennsylvania and the Nation.  Governor Wolf needs to recognize that the best way to provide for Pennsylvania’s energy needs, protect its economy, and protect our environment for present and future generations is renewable and sustainable energy sources instead of continuing the destruction that accompanies Marcellus shale gas development,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the organization who commissioned the report.


            Delaware Riverkeeper Network engaged CNA, a non-profit research organization, to research, analyze, and geospatially present potential impacts of building out the Interior Marcellus Shale.  While not all impacts are studied, aspects of development that are presented include: the number of wells that could be developed in the Interior Marcellus, the number of people that will likely be within ½ mile and 1 mile of gas wells, the scope of infrastructure footprints, the destruction and fragmentation of forests, the emissions that will degrade air quality, and the water that will be used and lost as well as the volume of wastewater that will be produced. 

            “There is no question that continuing to develop shale gas in Pennsylvania involves the consumption of tremendous resources, illustrating that the state and the health of its communities will be forever degraded.  This report documents the unvarnished facts and figures in a straightforward technical format, laying out for all to see some of the unavoidable costs that this industry brings, especially for those in its path here in the Commonwealth,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

            The CNA report and Atlas of interactive maps are detailed further in CNA’s Press Release.