The U.S. Geological Survey has issued the latest in a series of reports documenting landscape change resulting from natural gas and coalbed methane development in Pennsylvania.
Landscape Consequences of Natural Gas Extraction in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Huntingdon, and Luzerne Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004–2010 finds significant land clearing, forest fragmentation and other disturbances from resource extraction in these nine counties:
The disturbance and effects of both Marcellus and non-Marcellus development are clearly different across counties. Marcellus development was concentrated in Centre, Clinton, and Clearfield Counties, while non-Marcellus development was concentrated primarily in Clearfield County, and to a lesser extent, in Cambria and Centre Counties. It is important to note that the combined effect of both activities is substantial.It’s important to note the age of the data. A lot of drilling and coalbed methane development has occurred in Pennsylvania since 2010. In order to build on USGS’ excellent work, real-time monitoring of landscape impacts – in addition to air and water impacts - needs to be developed and implemented.