• Who We Are
  • What We Do
  • Publications
  • News
  • Events

Pinchot focus areas:

Climate & Energy
Water
Forests
Communities
Policy
Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development
Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development: The State of Science
Rocks along the Upper Delaware River In recent months, public meetings about the development of the Marcellus Shale gas deposit have become almost too numerous to stay abreast of.  The pace has quickened with recent articles in the national and international press. Development of the Marcellus Shale is not just a Pennsylvania issue; it has become a proving ground for how deep shale gas deposits will be developed throughout the country.

Held at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA on April 1, 2011, and funded with major support by the William Penn Foundation, and the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation convened a regional workshop assessing the environmental effects of Marcellus Shale gas development in an effort to assist policymakers, concerned citizens, and other stakeholders. The goal was to objectively review and evaluate the current science basis for assessing, regulating, and monitoring the environmental effects of unconventional natural gas development in the eastern region of the Marcellus Shale Formation, and meet the information needs of stakeholders, regulators, and scientists in a timely manner with respect to proposed energy development.

Welcome. David Velinsky, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences.

Introduction and Workshop Objectives. Al Sample, Pinchot Institute for Conservation.

Panel and Presentations

Panel 1: Scientific basis for cumulative effects assessment.

Overview
: Ongoing environmental studies on Marcellus Shale development. Richard Hammack, DOE-NETL [pdf coming soon!]
  • Ecological effects on water resources. Jerry Mead, Academy of Natural Sciences [Download pdf]
  • Ecological effects on terrestrial habitat and biodiversity. Nels Johnson, The Nature Conservancy of Pennsylvania [Download pdf]
  • Effects on water consumption and management (e.g. groundwater and surface water withdrawals) Jim Richenderfer, Susquehanna River Basin Commission [Download pdf]
  • Cumulative effects on ground water and aquifers. Jim Campbell, US Geological Survey [Download pdf]
  • Cumulative effects on surface water quality (e.g. in-stream effects, spills, tailings/waste materials). Dan Volz, University of Pittsburgh [Download pdf]
  • Source water protection in the upper Delaware (e.g., benchmarking, monitoring, contingency planning). Chris Crockett, Philadelphia Water Department [pdf coming soon!]

Panel 2: Scientific basis for best practices standards and regulation.

Overview: Managing to minimize potential impacts to water, wildlife, and biodiversity values. Bill Manner [Download pdf]
  • Measures to minimize effects on habitat (e.g. access roads, pipeline corridors, migration, fragmentation, etc.). Ellen Shultzabarger, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources [Download pdf]
  • Measures to minimize effects on watersheds. Jeff Fulgham, General Electric Power & Water [Download pdf]
  • Application of current science and new research by energy developers. David Alleman, ALL Consulting [Download pdf]

Panel 3: Refinement of user needs—critical information for anticipating potential cumulative effects and establishing effective standards and regulations

Speakers:
  • Carol Collier, Delaware River Basin Commission
  • Matt Keefer, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Tom Schuler, USDA Forest Service
  • Jack Ubinger, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Plenary discussion. Status of current science to address user information needs: research synthesis and implications for future research.

Moderators:
  • Al Sample, Pinchot Institute for Conservation
  • David Velinsky, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences
Overview:
  • Relevant information that is in the technical literature, but is in need of a synthesis and/or summary to make it understandable and easily usable by stakeholders and regulatory agencies.
  • Key information needs that are not addressed in the current literature, but are the subject of ongoing research (When are results expected? Who is doing the research? What opportunities are there for additional coordination, cooperation, and communication among various researchers working on related topics?)
  • Critical information needs that are not addressed by existing information or current research, and that needs to be made a priority for new or additional research.

Next steps: Approaches to strengthening the science basis for environmental effects assessment, regulation and monitoring, and meeting information needs of stakeholders, regulators, and scientists themselves in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Supporting Documents:
  • Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development: The State of Science, Summary [Download pdf]
  • Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development: Workshop Agenda [Download pdf]
  • Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development: User Information Needs [Download pdf]
  • Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development: List of Participants [Download pdf]
  • Assessing the Environmental Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Development: Speaker Bios [Download pdf]


Grey Towers National Historic Site Support Our Work Best in America
Sign up for the Pinchot Wire e-newsletter

Email: