Members of the Beech Creek Gas-well Monitoring Group (BCGMG)discuss water quality in the Beech Creek Watershed.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University has received a grant from the Degenstein Foundation to study potential impacts of Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the Beech Creek Watershed. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The $8,000 grant will fund a project under the direction of Dr. Md. Khalequzzaman, professor of geology. Khalequzzaman will establish a monitoring project involving LHU undergraduate and community partners from the Beech Creek Watershed and the Centre County chapter of the Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps. Their research will establish baseline water quality data for streams located in the vicinity of Marcellus Shale drilling sites.
During the summer field season 2010, they will collect water samples from key points in Little Sandy Run, Wolf Run, Council Run, Hays Run and Big Run, as well as the main stem of Beech Creek. If time and conditions permit, they plan to expand this baseline-data network to other streams located in the vicinity of gas drilling sites in Clinton and Centre Counties.
Upon receiving notification of the grant, Khalequzzaman stated, “To the best of my knowledge, our project to monitor environmental impacts of gas well drillings will be the first of its kind in the region.”
Recently, an alliance called Beech Creek Gas-well Monitoring Group (BCGMG) was forged between the Geology program at Lock haven University, the Beech Creek Watershed Association, the Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps (PaSEC), and the Centre County Conservation District to monitor the quality of water in the streams within the Beech Creek Watershed.
As stated in the grant proposal, following the field season the monitoring team will share their results with the Beech Creek Watershed Association (BCWA), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition, and Trout Unlimited. In addition, poster and PowerPoint summaries will be presented to the BCWA, the Clinton County Conservation District, and the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies fall symposium. The abstract will be submitted to the Northeast Section of the Geological Society of America for consideration and subsequent presentation at their spring meeting in March, 2011.
The Degenstein Foundation serves the central Pennsylvania region. The Foundation was created to improve the quality of life and to provide financial support to organizations with clear statements of purpose, well defined programs, and competent leadership. Special consideration is given to unique, innovative, and creative projects that benefit children, promote education, improve health care, encourage business, culture, conservation of nature resources, and protection of the environment. The Foundation’s website is http://www.deg-fdn.org/
For more information about the Marcellus Shale, you are encouraged to contact the LHU the Geology faculty. The LHU Geology website is www.lhup.edu/catalog/discipline/Geology/