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Friday, November 22, 2013

USGS releases two more reports on PA landscape industrialization

Two new reports from the U.S. Geological Survey document landscape change resulting from natural gas and coalbed methane development in Pennsylvania’s Sullivan, Wyoming, Armstrong and Indiana counties. That brings the total number of counties analyzed in USGS’ ongoing study of landscape disturbance in Pennsylvania to 18.

Landscape consequences of natural gas extraction in Sullivan and Wyoming Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004-2010 that found that in Sullivan County, 8 natural gas extraction sites resulted in more than 59 acres of disturbance, including 1.5 miles of new roads. In Wyoming County, 22 natural gas extraction sites resulted in more than 145 acres of disturbance, including 2.8 miles of new roads and 1.4 miles of new pipelines. 

Landscape consequences of natural gas extraction in Armstrong and Indiana Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004-2010 found that in Armstrong County, 1,912 natural gas extraction sites resulted in more than 3,400 acres of disturbance, including over 320 miles of new roads and more than 39 miles of new pipelines. In Indiana County, 1,875 natural gas extraction sites resulted in more than 3,689 acres of disturbance, including more than 355 miles of new roads and over 44 miles of new pipelines.

Spatially explicit data on the level of landscape disturbance…is critically important to the long-term study of the potential impacts of natural gas development on human and ecological health. 
Results of studies on 17 more counties in Pennsylvania will be released in the coming months. 

USGS’ work is vital. Pennsylvania’s future depends on how well this latest wave of Pennsylvania resource extraction is planned, executed, monitored and regulated.

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