Marcellus Drilling Impact Report “Long Overdue”

State touted aggressive monitoring of gas drilling, hasn't delivered.

StateImpact reports that the state of Pennsylvania has spent more than three years and $6 million to monitor how gas drilling is affecting the Marcellus Shale—but so far, has no official report to show for it. That concerns environmentalists, who say the promised report is “long overdue.”

Under Governor Corbett, the agency says it has taken time to staff up the monitoring program and develop protocols. Dan Devlin heads DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry.

“Anytime you do something for the first time, it takes a little bit of time to pull it all together,” he says, “That’s what we’re trying to do.

Jeff Schmidt is the retired director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Sierra Club. He now chairs the group’s public lands committee and has been following DCNR’s progress.

“We’re curious why the report has not been issued yet,” he says. “We are concerned there may be efforts by the governor’s office or other political sources to sanitize it.”

A state spokesman says the first report should be available “within months”—with updates every two years afterward.