Bradford & Washington Counties in PA
A new analysis from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of two counties in Pennsylvania found that natural gas extraction creates “potentially serious patterns of disturbance on the landscape.” Wellpads, roads, pipelines and waste pits are clearcuts in forests. Cumulatively they are very destructive to the natural ecosystem.
“Changes in land use and land cover affect the ability of ecosystems to provide essential ecological goods and services, which, in turn, affect the economic, public health and social benefits that these ecosystems provide.” Habitat fragmentation decreases a forest’s “abilty to support viable populations of individual species.”
The bottom line for the USGS: “Agricultural and forested areas are being converted to natural gas extraction disturbance” and the effect is “substantial.” Sadly, Pennsylvania is not the only place where wildlife habitat is being destroyed by oil and gas production; another example is in Wyoming where gas wells are spaced in patterns across the landscape.
You can find all the data and analysis in the USGS paper on line, but to see what the data means in real life, photos are worth a thousand words. A photo in the original article is entitled: ”Landscape consequences of natural gas extraction in Bradford and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004–2010: U.S. Geological Survey.”
Local governments get most of Marcellus shale impact fee distributions from 2011
The Public Utility Commission of Pennsylvania (PUC) announced today exactly where the money from the Marcellus shale impact fee system was going. Under the new Article 13 law, the majority of the money – more than $110 million of the $204 million collected – goes to counties and local governments.
High-producing gas boom counties were predictably the big winners with Bradford County and its municipalities receiving a total of $8.4 million. Bradford was followed by Tioga County and its municipalities with $4.8 million, Washington County and its municipalities with $4.4 million, Lycoming County and its municipalities with $4 million and Susquehanna County and its municipalities with $3.9 million.
[It is clear to me that orders of magnitute more damages were done in each of these counties than is compensated by these fees, if that is important to anyone. DGN]