Gas Drilling Not Damaging Forests’ Waterways, State Finds

Jul 26, 2018

Pennsylvania's state forests agency says it isn't finding damage to waterways amid the expansion of natural gas drilling in recent years, although it is reporting a growth of invasive plants where land is being cleared.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Wednesday in a new report that its water chemistry analysis hasn't provided evidence that shale gas development has degraded the quality of waterways in state forests in the core gas forest districts.

However, it says the presence and quantities of invasive plants are on the rise.

It says land-clearing for drilling operations on state forest lands has slowed considerably since its last report in 2014, largely because of market forces and a moratorium on new leasing in the forests that's been in place since 2010.