Shale Gas Monitoring
The DCNR Bureau of Forestry's Marcellus Monitoring Program is an interdisciplinary team designed to assess and communicate the environmental and social effects of natural gas development on state forest lands.
With an estimated 10,000 natural gas wells to be drilled on state forest in the next decade, Marcellus Shale development has the potential to affect a wide range of environmental and social values, including:
Environmental effects include:
Social effects include:
Changes to the forest’s wild character
Public safety concerns
Recreation user conflicts
Forest infrastructure condition
Impacts to local communities
In addition to these impacts, this effort will also document and communicate the benefits of oil and gas development.
A comprehensive and systematic program to track, detect, and report on these impacts is critical for the continued sustainable management of the state forest system. Understanding the effects of Marcellus shale development will aid in the development of improved policies, guidelines, and best management practices.
Based on existing programs, the DCNR has developed a three-tiered approach for implementing this new endeavor: