National Park Service to Review Oil and Gas Development on Public Lands in Pennsylvania
September 25, 2011
In a public lands victory, the National Park Service has agreed to review the environmental impacts of oil and gas well drilling in state parks and forests in Pennsylvania. This decision comes in response to a letter, drafted by Sierra Club attorney Craig Segall, identifying Pennsylvania’s potential failure to comply with a federal statute that permanently protects public lands funded with federal taxpayer dollars. The law establishing the Land and Water Conservation Fund protects public lands acquired or developed with the program's money from "conversion" to non-recreation use, like oil and gas development, without prior approval by the Park Service. If such a conversion occurs, the state must mitigate the impacts by buying land of at least equal value, and use any revenue from leases or royalties on such lands for conservation and recreation purposes only. Booming Marcellus Shale drilling threatens to riddle the state parks and forests with drilling pads, roads, and waste sites, and could badly damage protected lands. The Park Service will now review whether any of the hundreds of Marcellus Shale wells drilled in Pennsylvania violate the federal land conservation law.
Details and Documents:
Sierra Club Letter re the Land & Water Conservation Fund Act
July 1, 2011
Gas wells on public land get federal scrutiny
September 25, 2011 by Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
See other "Fighting Dirty Oil and Promoting Green Transportation" cases.