Joint Conservation Statement on Governor’s Marcellus Shale Proposal

On Monday, Governor Corbett announced his plans to implement recommendations from the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. While much depends on details that have yet to be released, the environmental organizations represented on the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission are encouraged that the Governor intends to move forward with many of the recommendations in the Commission’s final report that address environmental concerns. This includes the tracking and recording of wastewater, increased setbacks from streams and water supplies, improved management of erosion and sediment, stronger protection of floodplains, and increased enforcement tools and fines.

Significant concerns remain, however, regarding the proposed county impact fee, which fails to adequately address the full range of impacts on Pennsylvania’s lands, water, wildlife, and outdoor recreational assets—within and beyond the Marcellus region. We continue to believe that an appropriate mechanism already exists for investing in community projects that can help offset these impacts: the successful Growing Greener program. We look forward to working with the General Assembly and Governor to ensure that sufficient funding is provided for conservation and environmental protection as part of this package.

It is imperative that the Commonwealth move quickly to improve its oversight and management of Marcellus development. With limited time remaining in the fall session, we are hopeful that detailed legislative language for the Governor’s proposal will be released for review and discussion as soon as possible.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, The Nature Conservancy:Pennsylvania Chapter and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy