Best Management Practices for Natural Gas Pipelines

In December 2011, The Nature Conservancy as part of its Pennsylvania Energy Impacts Assessment issued a report on Natural Gas Pipelines. Their key findings included:

  • Pennsylvania’s network of large diameter natural gas pipelines will double and possibly quadruple in the next 20 years.The expansion is attributed to Marcellus shale gas development.
  • The expansion could build 10,000 miles to 25,000 miles of new pipeline in Pennsylvania.
  • Between 120,000 and 300,000 acres will be affected by natural gas pipeline construction, which is larger than the total area of all other Marcellus related infrastructure. Approximately half of this impacted area will be in Pennsylvania’s forests.
  • The expanding network of pipeline rights-of-way will create 360,000 to 900,000 acres of new forest edges. This could eliminate habitat conditions needed by native interior forest species and expose the core forest to invasive species.

Along with encouraging the co-location of new capacity with existing rights-of-way, the Nature Conservancy recommends the development of Best Practices to avoid or minimize habitat impacts. 

Penn State Extension offers free webinar on the best conservation practices for shale-gas extraction at 1 PM on February 21, 2013. Scott Bearer and Tamara Gagnolet, of The Nature Conservancy, will discuss their analysis of practices that could benefit the environment. Registration for this webinar is not necessary, and all are welcome to participate by logging in to https://meeting.psu.edu/pscems . For more information, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or by email at cal24@psu.edu.

If you missed the webinar, past webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website (http://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas), covering a variety of topics, such as Act 13; seismic testing; air pollution from gas development; water use and quality; zoning; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; gas pipelines and right-of-way issues; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.