Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development and Water Resources in the Pennsylvania Wilds

This project’s primary goal is to gain a better understanding of the interrelations of human and natural resource systems in northern Pennsylvania, especially the relationship among water resources, community well-being, and energy development.

The Marcellus Shale natural gas region of Pennsylvania encompasses nearly three-quarters of the state. Development of these resources will likely have broad environmental, social, and natural resource impacts. The Pennsylvania Wilds is a twelve county, state designated tourism and marketing region located fully within the Marcellus Shale region. The Pennsylvania Wilds is distinguished by its relatively undeveloped, natural settings and abundance of natural resources. Any impacts to water, forest, or scenic resources within this region is likely to affect the region’s tourism infrastructure, especially when coupled to habitat fragmentation, increased demands on local governments and emergency services, and related roadway and infrastructure impacts. We plan to work closely with the Pennsylvania Wilds Planning Team, a multi-county task force, as a key partner to collect and provide relevant, timely information to support the development of sound social, economic, and environmental policies and regulations for Marcellus Shale development.

Weigle, Luloff, Finley