HARRISBURG, Pa., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cindy Dunn, president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, issued the following statement in response to the release today of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (DCNR) Marcellus monitoring report:
"We are pleased to finally see the Marcellus monitoring report and applaud the effort of agency staffers tasked with its release. At a glance, the report raises more questions than it answers. When will DCNR release the raw data analyzed in the report? Was the report peer-reviewed by outside experts? How will the general public, and scientific professionals, be able to provide input on an ongoing basis? What changes has DCNR made, or will it make, based on the analysis and conclusions in the report? How many forest acres have been indirectly and cumulatively impacted by the 1,486 acres converted to gas infrastructure?
"We remain unequivocally opposed to additional leasing of our state parks and forests for natural gas drilling. It's time we put the brakes on runaway drilling – the gas is under our land and it's not going anywhere. We owe it to the citizens of the Commonwealth to more fully understand the impacts of natural gas drilling before we turn special places into industrial zones. The suggestion that this industrial activity can be 'carefully managed' provides scant comfort to Pennsylvanians who frequent Penn's Woods. Carefully-managed industrialization is still industrialization, so the need for a moratorium on leasing of state forests and parks to drillers remains.
"PennFuture is collaborating with environmental and conservation organizations in the state to review this report in the interest of a larger, public conversation on drilling of public lands."
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization founded in 1998 with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. The organization's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens in public advocacy.
The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the "state's leading environmental advocacy organization;" the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the organization "one of the 10 most influential groups on the issue of natural gas drilling;" and StateImpact Pennsylvania, an online collaboration of NPR stations across the state, called PennFuture "the commonwealth's main environmental advocate."