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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

USGS releases 4th study of PA landscape industrialization from natgas development

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 pipelines.

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.

USGS noted 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 other investigations.

As 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.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, too many Pennsylvanians believe DEP is there to protect-we know their job is to promote, and cheer lead for the industry. Having said that, it leaves the job to the residents of PA to wake up, get involved and DEMAND the highest standard of safety and environmental protection. Penn's Woods belong to Pennsylvanians. Penn's Woods should be protected by our elected officials. There are way too many fox in the hen house-from the township level right to the top. Step up Pennsylvanians-howl and take a bite out this crime against PA and truly KEEP PENNSYLVANIA BEAUTIFUL!