Source : PressConnects
Much has been written, and will continue to be written, about the Marcellus shale; on one side about how much money and jobs it will bring, and on the other, about how much environmental damage may result. But this battle of words, being waged by gas development’s proponents and opponents, is mostly speculative. There is probably some truth as well as exaggeration coming from both sides, but the argument may be missing the point. Here in Susquehanna County we are beginning to experience the reality – and the reality is very disheartening.
If you own land to which you are not particularly attached, or which represents only an investment – something to log, or quarry, or exploit in some other way – the Marcellus is just another opportunity. But if you live in the country because you love the rural aesthetic, because you seek solitude, or the joy of experiencing the natural world, you are in for a very unpleasant surprise. You are going to be living in the middle of an industrial zone.
In Dimock over the past year, gas well pads have been installed or are being planned at a rate of one for every 80 acres or so, meaning roughly eight gas well pads per square mile. You will inevitably be within eyesight and ear shot of at least one gas well, and will have numerous well sites in and around your community. Each well pad is a prominent graveled work yard of three to five gated acres, including large pits, tanks, pipes, valves, generators and exhaust stacks. Each has a heavy-duty gravel access road, and each has a 30- to 40-foot-wide pipeline swathe going to the next well pad in a continuous network across the countryside. Your rural landscape will be transformed by bulldozers into an industrial complex. Everywhere you look you will see their handiwork.