New report examines gas drilling in state forests

OIL-DRILLING-GAS-PA-PENNSYLVANIA

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A new report is providing details about how the shale gas drilling boom is impacting Pennsylvania state forests.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued the 268-page report this week. It found that “shale-gas production on state forest lands is neither benign nor catastrophic” and that there are clearly impacts and tradeoffs.

The Shale Gas Monitoring report found that about 1,486 acres of forest have been converted to various types of drilling-related development since 2008, out of about 2.2 million acres in the state forest system. That figure doesn’t include indirect impacts.

The environmental group PennFuture says it remains opposed to more gas drilling leases in state parks and forests.

DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti says the drilling “is being carefully managed.”

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