State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2011PA155B
Title: Understanding Municipal Officials Decisions to Lease Watershed Lands for Marcellus Shale Gas Exploration
Project Type: Information Transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2011
End Date: 2/29/2012
Congressional District: 5
Focus Categories: Management and Planning, Water Supply, Water Quality
Keywords: Marcellus shale, gas drilling, water supply, leasing
Principal Investigator: Abdalla, Charles (Penn State Institutes of the Environment)
Federal Funds: $ 18,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 43,769
Abstract: Abstract: The proposed study addresses impacts of Marcellus Shale /natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania. The project brings together an interdisciplinary team to investigate the process by which local leaders make decisions about leasing rights to explore for and extract gas from the Marcellus shale under watershed land owned by their municipality. To adequately educate and assist these leaders and their constituencies, greater understanding is needed of: a) municipal officials motivations to lease mineral rights under their watershed lands; b) municipal officials' knowledge of expected short-term and long-term benefits and costs, particularly to water quality, of leasing watershed lands; and c) the processes used by these officials for balancing expected benefits and costs. This will be accomplished by: 1) conducting interviews with state-level representatives of agencies and organizations; 2) conducting in-depth interviews with leaders from selected municipalities in regions with Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania; 3) analyzing the data collected and developing conclusions; 4) facilitating the review of findings; and 5) developing information and materials based on the findings for use in a broader research proposal(s) and for presentation in Extension/Outreach activities by Penn State University and other organizations.

Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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