The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has filed a petition under the National Environmental Policy Act calling for a comprehensive federal analysis of Marcellus Shale drilling in the 6 bay watershed states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and New York.
The foundation says assessments are underway on the impact of using chemically-treated water under high pressure to fracture the shale and release the natural gas, known as fracking, but Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania senior scientist for the foundation, claims that none of the studies are looking at the big picture....
"They are not taking a comprehensive look at the innumerable potential impacts this industry will have on our land, our water, as well as our quality of life. We need an analysis that will connect the dots."
The foundation says that the federal government is obligated by law to ensure the drilling won't adversely affect human health or the environment. More than 120 businesses, organizations and elected officials signed a letter to the president supporting the petition. But the petition does not call for a moratorium
Campbell says such an analysis would likely take several years and he acknowledges during that time drilling will continue..."If e do that analysis as the information is gathered, we can certainly look at ways to adapt to the industry so as to position Pennsylvania and other bay states as well as the federal government to better handle the environmental and quality of life impacts."
Campbell said if there are potential impacts, it's important to know how significant they are..."we do not have an unbiased, science-based analysis that is cumulatively looking at all of the issues related to this industry.