Our thoughts and opinions about gas extraction and related topics

Denver, CO – Day 3 of the APHA Conference


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – Communications Specialist, CHEC & DrPH Student, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH); & Drew Michanowicz, MPH, CPH – GIS Specialist, CHEC & DrPH Student, GSPH

Aquaculture and public health: Implications for food systems and the environment

On Monday morning, Drew and I attended a session on ‘aquaculture’ at the APHA conference to learn more about United States’ reliance upon aquaculture (seafood farming) and the environmental public health concerns associate with it. No, natural gas drilling was never mentioned. Our reason for attending this session was to learn more about the advantages vs. disadvantages of consuming farmed fish so that we can be responsible AND healthy consumers. This session had three speakers, and although they all did a great job, my hands-down favorite presentation was the one by Casson Trenor, MA – “Fish, forks, and the future: How a global environmental organization is working to improve the relationship between seafood markets, consumer demand, and the health of our oceans.” During his presentation, Trenor, of Greenpeace, strongly communicated the need to consider the sustainability of our seafood choices as consumers. One was was to avoid eating farmed salmon.

More importantly, however, Trenor’s presentation highlighted another multi-disciplinary problem; different fields often do not communicate very well with one another. A previous speaker during the same session encouraged eating farmed salmon because of the health benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids and the low amounts of mercury found in farmed salmon. The problem with this, according to Trenor, is that raising farmed salmon can be very unsustainable. Public health says, “Eat more seafood, because it is good for you.” Unfortunately, we are consuming seafood at rates much too high to continue to meet the demand down the road. What Trenor suggested was that environmental and public health organizations need to develop collaborative messages that advise people on the best practices from both fields. Eating fish that are lower on the tropic level (lower on the food chain), such as sardines for example, would be the best of both worlds; raising sardines does not require as many resources as farmed salmon (good for the environment, which is good for everyone), and they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury (good for your health).

Correspondingly, people seeking information about natural gas drilling often experience conflicting messages, as well. Residents and policy-makers want to know the risks vs. the benefits of drilling, but where should they look? I feel this is a major concern to properly protecting health, the environment, and the economy. — Public health strives to prevent negative health impacts as a result of the drilling by looking at the risks, but this might mean suggesting that drilling should not occur at all. Engineers attempts to develop the most effective technologies, and yet they do not always focus on technologies that reduce pollution. Environmental groups are concerned with the conservation and protection of their environment, but may dismiss the economic benefits that leasing mineral rights could have for private citizens. Industry works to maximize profitability and efficiency, potentially overlooking environmental and public health impacts, and yet they also need to reduce the occupational risks to their employees. What is the balanced answer? Is there even a “right” answer? For people considering leasing their mineral rights or those involved in policy making, I suggest looking at collaborative tools, such as FracTracker’s DataTool (link archived), your departments of environmental protection, and talking with your municipality about how drilling is being dealt with on a local level.

Emergency Preparedness and Older Adults

On Monday afternoon I was able to attend a great session about the various public health preparedness needs of aging communities. One of the presentations assessed whether the needs of people with chronic diseases are properly addressed during natural disasters. (How long could you go without your blood pressure medicine if there was a major flood in your state?) The main reason I attended this session, however, was to hear a talk by Sharon Larson, PhD of the Geisinger Center for Health Research about “An examination of an aging community when natural gas drilling comes to town.”

Dr. Larson conducted a rural health needs assessment in an Eastern PA community recently and was presenting the results of her study. To summarize her presentation, rates of poverty and elderly populations are higher in rural areas. In the community that she assessed, residents held very little social capital, must drive 55 miles to the nearest hospital, lost jobs due to the decline of the logging industry, and were experiencing a very high suicide rate. Residents wanted to know why. To her surprise, Dr. Larson’s health needs assessment found that one of the biggest concerns that this community had was that of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

“Why?”, you might ask. The people who took part in this study certainly place a high value on the quality of their natural resources, yes, but more importantly, it is an aging community. The youngest EMS volunteer is 65 years old. This presents a significant public health concern in the event of a gas drilling accident. The EMS volunteers did not feel that they were adequately prepared to deal with a major incident. For any industry members who happen to read this post, I advise you to contact Dr. Larson to coordinate community EMS trainings and perhaps provide additional EMS personnel for the community, if possible.

Second blog post in a series of three. Read the first one. Check back soon for number three.

Denver, CO – Days 1 and 2 of the APHA Conference


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – Communications Specialist, CHEC & DrPH Student, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH); and Drew Michanowicz, MPH, CPH – GIS Specialist, CHEC & DrPH Student, GSPH

My coworker, Drew Michanowicz, and I landed in Denver, Colorado on Saturday morning in preparation for the 2010 American Public Health Association Conference. CHEC sent us to this meeting of over 12,000 public health professionals in order to learn more about the impacts of natural gas drilling in shale formations where it has been occurring longer than in the Marcellus Shale, to ascertain how FracTracker’s blog and DataTool can be improved upon, and to get a general feeling on the perspectives that people concerned with prevention have about the gas drilling.

Days one and two in Denver involved getting oriented with our surroundings, and attending a few meetings, including a very interesting one for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

On Saturday, Drew’s friend who lives in Denver gave us a quick tour of the city. Downtown appears to have been built on a grid, something I wish Pittsburgh could have done to make it easier to navigate! Aside from the residents’ sincere interest in skiing, buffalo, and tiaras apparently, here are some interesting facts…

The streets are wide, and we saw tons of people walking the streets. (The unseasonably warm weather certainly didn’t hurt.) Denver has some of the healthiest residents in the U.S., probably due to their incredible system for public transit and biking. Denver sits at the foothills of the Rockies and has some of the most beautiful sunrises (picture left) I have ever seen. Additionally, the residents of Denver seem laid-back and appreciative of the natural resources they have at their close disposal.

Another fact that many people probably don’t know about Colorado: shale gas drilling is quite prevalent here, with over 27,000 wells drilled state-wide. (PA has about 1/20th the amount of drilled wells in the Marcellus Shale so far.) Despite the passion that Colorado residents seem to have for their natural environment, natural gas drilling occurred quite prevalently here.

What does this tell us about the future of drilling in the much larger Marcellus Shale play (which underlies most of PA)? See the snapshot below to view all of the shale gas plays in the continental U.S.

[map archived]

Revise West Virginia Environmental Policy to Properly Characterize Ozone Air Pollution


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Ozone is Produced by Reactions of Organic Compounds Released During Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction Activities with Sunlight and Oxides of Nitrogen

By: Conrad Dan Volz, DrPH, MPH – CHEC Director and Principal Investigator
Story Inspired by FracTracker work of Kathleen Tyner

I was searching over new snapshots on the FracTracker database and noticed one done by Kathleen Tyner. Her snapshot (below) shows Marcellus Wells drilled in West Virginia overlaid with locations of ozone monitoring devices placed by WV DEP personnel for monitoring this criteria air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

[image removed]
Analysis of this snapshot reveals only 6 monitoring locations within the vast geographic area of West Virginia where Marcellus Shale gas extraction operations exist.

West Virginia is characterized by some of the highest elevation peaks and ridges in the Appalachian range, an area where weather inversions can be frequent and can hold air pollutants in valley areas for days if not weeks. If ozone and other air contaminants are trapped in these valleys, over time concentrations of these pollutants can build up without being cleared by prevailing winds. Without proper placement of ozone monitors (and other types of monitors for other criteria pollutants generated) in these characteristic areas no one will be able to pickup ozone concentrations in air. Ozone is formed by the reaction of organic chemicals volatilized into air from Marcellus Shale gas extraction activities, including:

  • drilling,
  • diesel exhaust [truck traffic and running compressors],
  • wastewater impoundments,
  • condenser stations,
  • pipeline leaks,
  • cryogenic plants,
  • compressor stations,
  • mercaptan injection stations,
  • chemical plants – existing oxides of nitrogen from coal powered electrical generation facilities and other industrial operations (see the figure below), and
  • sunlight.

Additionally, over large geographic areas of the state there are very few ozone monitors shown which could pick up ground level ozone as it is advectively transported by wind over large areas of the state.

Ozone is a criteria air pollutant that has been associated with a variety of health problems, including:

  • airway irritation,
  • coughing,
  • pain when taking a deep breath,
  • wheezing and breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities,
  • inflammation, which is much like a sunburn on the skin,
  • aggravation of asthma,
  • increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis, and
  • permanent lung damage with repeated exposures.

Given the importance of ozone to human health outcomes and its ability to also affect plants, it is vital to understand ozone concentrations and exposure over space and time.

West Virginia’s Environmental Policies

The State of West Virginia needs to reevaluate its environmental policies in light of the explosion of activity in the Marcellus gas fields. Significant funding should be provided to state environmental enforcement agencies to perform research into:

  1. Where ozone effects might be pronounced due to topographic variation;
  2. Understanding where ozone monitors should be placed to be able to predict ozone exposure reliably for each sub-regions populations (especially children); and
  3. Determining the number of additional ozone air monitoring stations for proper statistical analysis and spatial modeling.

Additionally, the placement of Marcellus Shale wells is ongoing and accelerating. Since over the next 25 years it is reasonable to assume that there could be up to 100,000 Marcellus shale wells in West Virginia – as well as additional associated infrastructure including stripping and refining stations, compressor stations and pipelines – the State of West Virginia needs to set aside significant funding to ensure that ozone monitoring is ongoing. This funding should also ensure that data generated are analyzed and communicated to the public using proper and accurate risk communication language with numerous outlets so all citizens are informed of this air hazard regularly. Finally, since the Marcellus Shale gas industry will be moving throughout the state over time – developing wells and infrastructure as needed -any state program needs to have enough flexibility to move with the industry. Better yet, the state should require planning documents from industry. This can allow it to predict where the industry will move next so that baseline, pre-extraction air levels of ozone and other air contaminants generated in this process can be compared to the levels generated post-production

Locations of NOx Sources in the States of West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania by Tonnage. NOx is a precursor contaminant that can react with organic compounds volatilized from Marcellus Shale gas extraction activities to produce ozone. Note large sources of NOx as you move down the Ohio and West Virginia border, in Northern West Virginia, and on the Pennsylvania border.

Improved PA DEP Drilling Data Transparency


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Recognizing the need for government and industry-related drilling data to be more transparent, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has added new resources to their oil and gas website for data related to natural gas drilling compliance and production. As the press release says, this is the first time that all of this information is available online from the PA DEP.

See the map below for an updated view of the number and location of Marcellus well violations based on data provided by the PA DEP. You can zoom in using the magnifying glass button in the gray toolbar to inspect an area more closely. Or you can click on the “i” in the toolbar and then on a point on the map to inspect an individual record:

[image removed]

While we applaud the PA DEP’s efforts to improve the accessibility of drilling information online, the new section still has some HTML quirks and can be difficult to find when trying to navigate there from the DEP’s homepage. The Center for Healthy Environments has been in discussion with various citizens, media personnel, regulatory agencies, and academic institutions about the possibility of using FracTracker’s DataTool to aid in improving data transparency. We strongly believe that data transparency leads to better-informed decision making and fear reduction; FracTracker can provide an easy-to-use, online, user-generated platform to present data and associated information about drilling in shale formations.

If you would like to know more about how FracTracker works, just check out this page and keep your eyes peeled for an online tutorial coming soon, as well.

Forced Pooling vs. Organic Farming

By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – Communications Specialist, Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC), University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH); and Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) Student, GSPH


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Shale gas drilling involves injecting large amounts of high-pressured water and various chemicals into the shale layer to release the natural gas trapped there.

Although there are some obvious economic benefits to producing energy in our own country, how will shale gas drilling and forced pooling affect farmers who are applying for or trying to keep their organic farm certifications? Do the communities burdened with gas drilling truly ‘reap’ the rewards?

Organic Certification for Farms

Organic farming means that farmers must avoid using most synthetic chemicals when producing their crops, such as synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, sewage, organisms that have been genetically modified, or exposing food to high doses of radiation. No synthetic chemicals could have been used on the farmland for a few years. Organic farmers are subject to periodic inspections, as well. (For more information about the benefits and costs associated with eating organic food, check out this website.)

Forced Pooling

Currently, PA is one of the only remaining states in the U.S. where active natural gas drilling is occurring that has not enacted any kind of severance tax on the industry. Keep in mind, however, that while a severance tax is being considered in Harrisburg, the natural gas industry is lobbying to have forced pooling tied to any severance tax legislation. (The likelihood of either proposal being passed before a new term begins is highly unlikely at this point, however.)

Forced pooling would require people to enter into lease agreements in an area where the majority of other lease-owners have leased to a natural gas drilling company. This would be advantageous to the industry because it makes leasing more orderly and allows them to more easily access areas where the mineral rights have been fragmented. While this could reduce the environmental footprint of drilling in some ways, it could be incredibly problematic for organic farmers whether they own their mineral rights or not. At least without forced pooling, organic farmers have more of a choice about whether they will lease their mineral rights.

The Predicament

The problem, therein, is that any violation on the part of industry that pollutes the land, air, or soil on or near a farm – especially an organic farm – could have serious repercussions for the farmer and the farm’s economic viability.

PA Wastewater spills by county
Frac pond and lining

And when you add in the forced pooling concept, the problem becomes more complex.

Does a spill or blowout on the farm destroy the organic certification, and if so for how long? Who is responsible for the economic hardships of such an incident? What are the public health implications of consuming food that has been contaminated either with the chemicals used to fracture the shale or the constituents of the wastewater that returns to the surface and is held in large ponds? (Wastewater can contain heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, and is high in salinity.) For example, the Department of Agriculture quarantined several PA cattle in July that came into contact with one of the holding ponds in order to reduce the risk of those chemicals being passed along through the food chain.

I acknowledge that there can be benefits to drilling for farmers in this blog post. However, from our experience, many farmers are only being educated by the industry about the benefits to leasing. E.g. “You can have your cake and eat it, too.” But as our one friend put it, “What are the odds that the cake cannot be eaten?”

To find an organic farm near you, visit this site. If you have geo-located data showing where organic farms are located, add it to the DataTool or contact us at malone@fractracker.org so that we can load the dataset for you.

Prezi Presentation – Origins and Purpose of FracTracker


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Are you interested in knowing why we at CHEC started this hairbrained project with the Foundation for PA Watersheds and Rhiza Labs to develop FracTracker? Check out the presentation below to learn more:

If you’re having trouble viewing the presentation, click play at the bottom of the screen twice. Prezi will move you from one “slide” to the next. And if you’re still having trouble, visit Prezi to learn more.

Is a Severance Tax in the Future for Pennsylvania?

By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – Communications Specialist and DrPH student, Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC), University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Last week the PA House of Representatives voted in support of a severance tax of 39 cents for every thousand cubic feet of natural gas extracted. This proposed bill now awaits its fate in the Senate. Governor Edward Rendell recently sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to move forward on the bill.

“A week ago the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to impose a severance tax on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Since that time, in spite of the expressed commitment made by the you in the fiscal code, your comments, and those made by your staff, do not offer a shred of evidence that you have any intention of living up to this commitment you made to put the severance tax to a vote in the Senate before you adjourn the session.” Read more.

Industry representatives have stated that the proposed tax is too high and would hinder the extraction process in the Commonwealth. Supporters of this tax, however, feel it is necessary to counter the costs to local infrastructure and protect the environment and public health.

A Look Back at the Clearfield Blowout – Public Health Preparedness Considerations


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Clearfield Blowout, June 2010
Photo credit: PA DEP

By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – CHEC Communications Specialist and DrPH Student, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

It came at a conspicuous time; on June 3, 2010 a Marcellus gas well blew out in Clearfield County, PA – less than two months after the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf (and before that spill was capped).

Luckily, the Clearfield blowout did not kill or injure workers or spill five million gallons into the ocean, but it does raise significant public health preparedness and environmental health questions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) released a report stating that untrained EOG Resources personnel and improper control of the well were the cause of the blowout that released wastewater and methane gas into the atmosphere for 16 hours. EOG also failed to notify the DEP about the incident until several hours after it began.

The Clearfield well site in question is located in the center of PA off of I-80 (see map below).
[image removed]
Figure 1. The red square indicates multiple violations that occurred in one geographic location, the Clearfield blowout. Click on “i” to learn more about each square (record). (The map used to be private and visible on the DataTool only to members of CHEC, but it can now be seen by anyone.)

Many concerns and questions are associated with a blowout of this type:

  1. Not including the danger to workers from the initial blowout, what if the gas being released had ignited?
  2. What if the site had not been in the State Game Lands and been in a more populated or possibly urban area like Lawrenceville, a neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh?
  3. What if an explosion had occurred that caused the wastewater and gas to be released for much longer?
  4. How can emergency responders be better prepared to handle issues of this magnitude?
  5. How can communication channels be improved to reduce the amount of time between incident and proper response?

On the part of emergency responders, some progress is being made. CHEC continues to receive reports that more and more local first responders, including volunteer firefighters, are being trained in PA and WV to deal with potential accidents and blowouts on well sites. Additionally, the PA DEP has hired a team of responders throughout the state who are no more than five hours away from any drill pad.

Read the DEP’s full report on the Clearfield gas well blowout. [link removed]

Water Contamination Studies

By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – CHEC Communications Specialist and BCHS Doctoral Student, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Water Contamination Potential

When the ‘new’ methods for gas extraction first appeared on the horizon in Pennsylvania, many citizens expressed concern that their water could become contaminated by the hydraulic fracturing process used to obtain natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. At the same time, the natural gas industry’s PR group, the Marcellus Shale coalition, claimed that “hydrofracking has [a] safe record and spurs [the] economy.” Preliminary research conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the U.S. EPA in Pavillion, Wyoming suggest that a portion of citizens’ concerns might be warranted. (To learn more, read the PDFs numbered 2, 3, and 4 at the end of this post.)

Some researchers believe that gas extraction cannot be done without negatively impacting water quality due to the likelihood of well casings leaking over time (Dusseault, 2000). See excerpt below:

The consequences of cement shrinkage are non-trivial: in North America, there are literally tens of thousands of abandoned, inactive, or active oil and gas wells, including gas storage wells, that currently leak gas to surface. Much of this enters the atmosphere directly, contributing slightly to greenhouse effects. Some of the gas enters shallow aquifers, where traces of sulfurous compounds can render the water nonpotable, or where the methane itself can generate unpleasant effects such as gas locking of household wells, or gas entering household systems to come out when taps are turned on. Methane from leaking wells is widely known in aquifers in Peace River and Lloydminster areas (Alberta), where there are anecdotes of the gas in kitchen tap water being ignited. Because of the nature of the mechanism, the problem is unlikely to attenuate, and the concentration of the gases in the shallow aquifers will increase with time. (Dusseault, 2000)

Updating PA’s 1989 Cement Regulations

In an attempt to reduce the risk that the increased drilling in PA would negatively impact groundwater and drinking water supplies, the PA Environmental Quality Board published its proposed rulemaking measures to update existing state requirements for many of the processes involved in natural gas drilling, including: casing and cementing the well, monitoring and inspections, and plugging of oil and gas wells. (A significant portion of the existing regulations in PA that dictate water supply replacement and how gas wells are constructed were created in 1989.)

Whether natural gas drilling – when done properly – can contaminate well water or the acquifer from which well water is obtained is a significant research question. Public health would suggest that this is an imperative issue considering the number of violations sited against companies drilling in Pennsylvania by the PA DEP. (See map below that shows Marcellus Shale wells drilled since 2007 and violations as of September 22, 2010. To view an individual record, click the “i” in the toolbar below the map and then click on the record about which you would like to obtain more information.)

[image removed]

The potential impacts that the natural gas industry could have on water quality and public health are some of the major reasons that the U.S. EPA is conducting a $1.9 million study on hydraulic fracturing, including a life-cycle analysis of the process. In order to better understand the relationship between drilling products and water resources, the EPA recently sent a letter to select hydraulic fracturing service providers that requests they release the constituents of their fracturing fluid, as well as specific information about other industry processes.

References and Additional Publications

  1. Dusseault MB. 2000. Why Oilwells Leak: Cement Behavior and Long-Term Consequences. Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.
  2. ATSDR Health Consultation, Pavillion, WY – Evaluation of Contaminants in Private Residential Well Water
  3. EPA, Pavillion, WY – Expanded Site Evaluation – Analytical Results Report
  4. EPA, Pavillion, WY – Conceptual Site Model

Do the natural gas industry’s surface water withdrawals pose a health risk?

By Kyle Ferrar, MPH – EOH Doctoral Student, University of Pittsburgh GSPH


This page has been archived. It is provided for historical reference only.

Wastewater discharges are regulated through national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits, and are based on the concept “the solution to pollution is dilution.” However, what happens when the diluting capacity of a river diminishes? If the natural gas industry will be producing 20 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater in 2011, but only retrieves 20% to 70% of the water used to drill and hydrofracture a well, over 28.5 to 100 MGD must be withdrawn from water resources1.
Water withdrawals for the natural gas industry are permitted through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) with the approval of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). As water is withdrawn, the volumes of stream flow decrease. Water withdrawals must be conducted responsibly, so that the volumes of stream flow are not impacted. Decreasing flow decreases the assimilative capacity of waterways to dilute pollution, such as TDS. In the late summer and fall, lack of precipitation causes drought conditions, and accounts for the lowest flow periods each year. But in 2008 through 2010, flow in parts of the Monongahela River have been less than half than what they are typically, at this time of the year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers2.

[image removed]
Figure 1. Permitted surface water withdrawals in Pennsylvania are shown on the map, active as of April 2, 2010.

Figure 1 shows the permitted water withdrawals in Pennsylvania for commercial, industrial, and agricultural use, as well as the permitted water withdrawals for the oil and natural gas industry. There is a multitude of groups that rely on water withdrawals for their livelihood, including the oil and gas industry, labeled as red stars. The capacity of river flow to dilute pollutants to safe levels also depends on river flow, and has precise limits. The current assimilative capacity for pollution and TDS in the Monongahela River is showing signs of saturation, and is characteristically oversaturated during the dry season. Monongahela River communities are already urged to rely on bottled water rather than their own municipal tap water, for certain periods of the year. Therefore, at the current rate of natural gas industry water withdrawals, there is no longer any room left for further economic development of water resources in other sectors of industry within the Monongahela River basin, if public health is to be conserved.

The current water management practices of the natural gas industry during the regional dry season are likely to have contributed to higher TDS concentration in the Monongahela River. New regulations for treatment and discharge of wastewater are designed so that the wastewater does not result in a severe impact, but the issue of mediating sustainable withdrawals has not been addressed. The majority of the pollution in the Monongahela River is still suspected to be caused by issues of legacy pollution, such as extensive acid mine drainage within the watershed3. On the other hand, the water withdrawals in the Monongahela River watershed are potentially causing a cumulative impact on flow volume in the river that magnifies all forms of pollution by increasing the pollutant concentrations. Much more research needs to be conducted on this issue, to ensure safe and sustainable permitting practices for water withdrawals.


  1. Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension. 2010. Shaping proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s total dissolved solids standard, a guide to the proposal and the commenting process.
  2. Puko, Tim. Silty Salty Monongahela River at risk from pollutants. Tuesday August 24, 2010. Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
  3. Anderson, Robert M. Beer, Kevin M. Buckwalter, Theodore F. Clark, Mary E. McAuley Steven D. Sams, James I. Williams, Donald R. 2000. Water Quality in the Allegheny and Monongahela River Basins. USGS circular 1202.