Susquehanna River Basin Shale Gas Water Monitoring Study

BRIEFING RECAP: Water Data to Answer Urgent Water Policy Questions: Shale Gas Development in the Susquehanna River Basin

Following the release of the Institute’s study on water quality monitoring in the Susquehanna River Basin, NEMWI hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on April 20 in the Capitol Visitor Center.  Elin Betanzo, Senior Policy Analyst at NEMWI and lead author of the study, provided an overview of the study’s findings and recommendations for improving water quality monitoring to detect water quality trends relative to shale gas development in the Susquehanna River Basin. Dr. Susan Brantley of Penn State University and Andrew Gavin of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission joined the briefing to share their perspectives on the study and water data availability in the Susquehanna River Basin.

The study by the Northeast-Midwest Institute found that 10 years after high-volume hydraulic fracturing began widespread use for shale gas development in the Susquehanna River Basin, there is still no systematic large-scale, long-term groundwater monitoring effort in the Susquehanna River Basin that would determine if there are changes in water quality related to shale gas development. Federal, state, local and academic water monitoring sites are not located in the right locations, water samples are not analyzed for the needed parameters, and sampling frequency is insufficient for detecting water quality trends related to shale gas development activities for both surface water and groundwater. The current lull in shale gas production makes now the perfect time to put the necessary water monitoring programs in place to collect critical water quality data prior to and during the next shale gas production boom in the Marcellus Shale.

Click here to view the presentation.

To view the report and congressional briefing information, click here.