The natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is trying to disprove criticism of its fracking practices by preemptively issuing new voluntary guidelines even as the sector comes under greater scrutiny.
A group representing the natural gas industry in the Marcellus Shale issued its first recommendations on industry best practices in an effort improve its conservation ethic and deflect criticism that operators are damaging natural landscapes with wells, roads and compressor stations.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition’s “recommended practices” are guidelines rather than requirements, and address site planning, development and restoration. Still-planned guidelines will focus on areas such as air quality and water management.
A 34-page document, released on April 26, recommends 11 steps for operators, from identifying sites for gas installations, to monitoring, maintenance and repair. The coalition said it sought guidance from member companies and other stakeholders to come up with standards that make sense operationally and environmentally.
“These content-rich guidance documents represent a level of detail and transparency derived from many sources which will be updated and refined as development continues,” said MSC chairman Dave Spigelmyer, in a statement.