Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
John F. Stolz
David M. Kahler
unconventional drilling, Marcellus Shale, natural gas, public lands, Allegheny County, hydraulic fracturing, water quality, acid mine drainage, coal
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, signed a lease to allow unconventional natural gas extraction from Marcellus Shale beneath Deer Lakes County Park in 2014. The park has three man-made lakes and four waterways that eventually flow into the Allegheny River. Drilling commenced in early 2016, and there are now five producing wells. The park has an extensive abandoned coal mine network and several abandoned oil and gas wells. Thus, an independent water quality study was undertaken beginning in July 2015. Samples from seven different sites in the park were used to establish a water quality baseline prior to the drilling. Monthly sampling continued through August 2017, with analytical parameters including conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, anions, light hydrocarbons, and a suite of metals and metalloids. Detection of light hydrocarbons, surfactants, and other constituents in specific mass ratios suggest that water quality has been impacted by a combination of past and present extractive activities.
Robinson, D. (2019). Water Quality Assessment of Deer Lakes County Park Before, During and After Unconventional Shale Gas Drilling (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1776