Through the Susquehanna River Basin Impacts Project, FracTracker Alliance, in partnership with the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter and Clean Water Action, is taking a closer look at the Susquehanna River Watershed and its many challenges related to industrial development, including deforestation and sedimentation issues, nutrient loading from poor agricultural practices, sewer and stormwater runoff.
A significant component of Susquehanna River Basin impacts can be attributed to expanding oil and gas development. As part of the ongoing Marcellus Shale oil and gas boom, nearly 5,500 unconventional wells on roughly 2,000 well pads have been drilled in the Susquehanna River Watershed since 2007. According to the Nature Conservancy, shale gas companies could drill 27,600 additional wells in the Susquehanna River basin by 2030.
How will the Susquehanna River Watershed withstand future impacts from the oil and gas industry given the SRBC’s limited oversight? A first step in understanding the problem is to look at the state of the watershed today.