State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010PA121B
Title: Public Education on Water Issues Related to Marcellus Gas Drilling
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: PA-005
Focus Categories: Education
Keywords: Marcellus shale, water quality, education, gas drilling
Principal Investigator: Swistock, Bryan Reed
Federal Funds: $ 17,500
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 45,400
Abstract: Increasing development of Marcellus shale gas deposits throughout much of Pennsylvania is raising concerns about impacts on the state's water resources. The use of large volumes of freshwater with chemical additives results in thousands of gallons of contaminated waste fluids at each drilling site. The storage and movement of these wastes in addition to naturally contaminated fluids and methane gas are all risks to nearby groundwater aquifers and streams. The rapid increase in drilling activity along with dated state regulations have increased public concerns about protection of water resources. In conjunction with an ongoing research project focused on groundwater impacts from Marcellus drilling, this project seeks to develop a team of Penn State Cooperative Extension professionals that will develop and deliver educational resources and programs related to water issues surrounding Marcellus gas drilling. We propose to hold a one-day training workshop to facilitate development and training of the team. In addition, the project will allow for the development of numerous written and web-based publications along with a short video summarizing water concerns and results from the companion research project. Student support will be used to develop a web-based clearinghouse of existing unbiased resources that can be added to the water extension web site along with a listing of third-party water testing labs serving the state. The trained team and resources will be used to deliver numerous face-to-face educational programs and webinars on Marcellus water issues, potentially reaching thousands of stakeholders in the state.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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