Fracking legislation takes shape in Pennsylvania
As the natural gas industry spreads throughout Pennsylvania, South America and the world, researchers and residents alike are shaping its progression.
On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court returned the power to set boundaries on gas drilling to municipalities across the state.
Act 13 took effect in 2012 to set a statewide standard on hydraulic fracturing and natural gas expansion in the Marcellus Shale region. Since then, interest groups and private citizens have rallied for the right to set zoning provisions on local activity, claiming that the state's limits allowed drilling and waste sites too close to commercial and residential areas.
The Marcellus Shale lies under much of western Pennsylvania and has been lauded as a gold mine for the booming gas industry. However, shales are scattered throughout the world and the industry is expanding to Europe and South America. In July 2013, Governor Corbett announced plans to expand an energy partnership with Chile.
Several studies throughout the past year have released information that both verifies and questions the safety of hydraulic fracturing methods. On Monday the journal Endocrinology published a study that linked hormone-disrupting chemicals to wastewater from hydraulic fracturing sites.