"Gas Wells on Public Land Get Federal Scrutiny"

"The U.S. Department of the Interior is reviewing whether any of the 175 Marcellus Shale gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania state forests or other permitted or planned well developments on publicly owned land violates a 1964 federal land conservation law."

"Interior's National Park Service, which administers the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Act, has asked Pennsylvania's conservation and environmental departments and fish and game commissions to provide it with maps showing existing gas well permits and planned gas well development areas on land acquired or developed using the act's funding program.

The law establishing the Land and Water Conservation Fund protects public park, forest and recreation lands acquired or developed with the program's money from "conversion" to non-recreation use, like oil and gas wells, without prior approval by the Park Service. If such a conversion occurs, the state must buy land of at least equal value to compensate, and it must use any revenue from leases or royalties on such conversion lands for conservation and recreation purposes only."

Don Hopey reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 25, 2011.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 09/26/2011