Full Title: Environmental Impacts During Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling: Causes, Impacts, and Remedies
Author: Timothy Considine, Robert Watson, Nicholas Considine, and John Martin
Publisher(s): Shale Resources and Sociey Institute
Publication Date: 5/2012
Length: 52 pages, PDF
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Surprisingly little comprehensive analysis exists to quantify the success or failure of states in effectively and safely managing natural gas development. Without such information, it is very difficult for regulators, elected officials, and citizens to engage in productive dialogue around natural gas development and the process of hydraulic fracturing. Whether considering regulatory changes in a state where development is already under way, or debating the permitting of natural gas development where it has not yet occurred, quantifying measurements of success are neces- sary for building consensus and making sound decisions.
To address this question, this study provides a detailed analysis of notices of violations (NOVs) from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) from January 2008 through August 2011, categorizing each violation. Of the 2,988 violations, 1,844, or 62 percent, were for administrative or preventative reasons. The remaining 38 percent, or 1,144 NOVs, were for environmental violations. The number of these environmental violations, however, is a misleading metric because an individual event may be associated with multiple environmental violations. As such, the 845 unique environmental events considered in this study were associated with 1,144 NOVs.