The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has published the fourth study in its excellent series of quantitative analyses of landscape disturbance from natural gas development in Pennsylvania.
Landscape consequences of natural gas
extraction in Fayette and Lycoming Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004-2010 found
that in Fayette County, 1297 natural gas extraction sites resulted in more than
4,360 acres of disturbance, including 290 miles of new roads and 2 miles of new
In Lycoming County,
83 natural gas extraction sites resulted in more than 1,040 acres of
disturbance, including 22 miles of new roads and 45 miles of new pipelines.
in releasing the report that "Large-scale landscape disturbance can have a
significant impact on ecological resources and the services they provide.” The data from these reports
will be used to assess the effects of disturbance and land-cover change on
wildlife, water quality, invasive species and socioeconomic impacts, among
I’ve said, at this early stage of Pennsylvania’s shale gas era, we are
looking at the tip of the development iceberg.
What will Penn’s Woods look like when this era ends? Our state’s future
depends on how well this
latest wave of Pennsylvania resource extraction is planned,
executed, and regulated.