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Marcellus Shale

Natural Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania

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The Marcellus Shale, a mammoth natural gas field that lies below much of western Pennsylvania as well as portions of New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, was named in 1839 by a New York state geologist for the town of Marcellus, New York, where he first found and identifed the layer. Geologists have known about the Marcellus Shale gas field for more than 80 years, but it took high gas prices, combined with fairly recent horizontal drilling techniques and hydraulic fracturing technology to finally launch the drilling boom in Pennsylvania.

Have questions about leasing your land to a natural gas driller such as Range Resources? Worried about how the Marcellus Shale wells will affect ground water? Want to learn more about how drilling may impact your local community? These online resources offer a variety of facts and opinions from people and organizations on both sides of the Marcellus Shale debate.

1. Marcellus Shale Coalition

This Cecil-based trade group is the primary public face for the Pennsylvania drilling industry, made up of 40 full-member energy companies including Range Resources, Chesapeake Energy, and Cabot Oil and Gas, as well as over 100 companies with ties to the drilling industry.

2. Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association

This energy trade association provides facts on the Marcellus Shale and natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, focused primarily on the benefits being realized through the development of Pennsylvania's natural gas reserves.

3. Marcellus Citizenship Stewardship Project

The coalition made up of the Mountain Watershed Association, Three Rivers Waterkeeper, GASP Pittsburgh, Clean Water Action, The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Healthy Environments and Communities, PennEnvironment and the Fayette County Conservation District, provides citizens with tools and knowledge to "responsibly monitor Marcellus shale development to aid in community and environmental protection."

4. Pennsylvania DEP: Marcellus Shale FAQ

A great collection of frequently asked questions and answers related to drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

5. FracTracker

Hosted by the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds and managed by the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC) of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, FracTracker offers information on Marcellus Shale drilling, as well as a web-based tool for tracking and visualizing data related to gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region.

6. Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission

The Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission, formed by eight civic and environmental organizations, is tasked with assessing the impacts, both positive and negative, of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and identifying the steps needed to ensure drilling occurs in a responsible manner.

7. Marcellus Shale Protest - No Fracking Way

Marcellus Shale Protest, an alliance of Western PA groups and individuals working to ban shale gas drilling in Western Pennsylvania, offers information on Marcellus Shale gas drilling and activism and related issues.

8. CHEC - Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction

The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC) focuses on the potential public health concerns associated with gas extraction activities, especially those occurring in the Marcellus Shale region.

9. Pipeline: Your Marcellus Shale Community

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hosts this excellent website with articles, facts, resources and other information on the Marcellus Shale and natural gas drilling in Western Pennsylvania.

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