Yes. Natural gas development from shale formations is a time-tested process, that when done in accordance with state and federal regulations, will not impact fresh water supplies. Here in Pennsylvania, under both Governors Ed Rendell and Tom Corbett, environmental regulations have been strengthened with broad industry and stakeholder support. The Marcellus Shale Coalition has also published a series of Recommended Practices to further improve the operating environment here in the commonwealth, and the recently enacted Act 13 enhanced the setback distances from water wells and surface waters. Additionally, each Marcellus Shale well has at least four layers of steel and cement that encase the well, which serves as a barrier to prevent the fracturing fluid and natural gas from communicating with potable aquifers.
Prior to a natural gas well being developed, operators are required to test all water wells and surface waters within 2,500 feet of a proposed well site. These test results serve as a baseline should a homeowner believe their water may have been impacted by natural gas development. Test are conducted in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards and the results are shared with the individual homeowner and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.