A Community Conversation on Natural Gas

Over the past few months, the Marcellus Shale Coalition asked Pennsylvanians their questions about natural gas development.
This website will answer those questions straightforwardly and honestly.

Q: How will my drinking water be affected?

As an industry we get this question a lot. The short answer is, if companies properly construct wells in accordance with state and federal regulations, your drinking water will not be affected by natural gas development.

Additionally, and as an added precaution, natural gas companies are required by Pennsylvania state law to test water sources within 2,500 ft. of a proposed well location prior to site construction and the drilling of a well. The results of this test are then shared with homeowners and state regulators and serve as a baseline should an issue arise, or the homeowner believes their water may have been impacted by natural gas development. It’s worth noting that Pennsylvania has some of the most stringent regulations in place to ensure that drilling and hydraulic fracturing is done in a manner that safeguards our water and environment.

It’s also worth noting that Pennsylvania is one of two states that do not have private drinking water well standards. This should be a real concern to families who rely on water wells for drinking water. According to a 2011 study by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative research arm of the General Assembly, nearly 40 percent of all water wells in Pennsylvania fail at least one safe drinking water act standard and 20 percent have detectable levels of methane.


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