Webinar to examine Marcellus development impacts on transportation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A Web-based seminar sponsored by Penn State Extension will examine how Marcellus shale natural-gas development in Pennsylvania is affecting transportation patterns in the state.

The 75-minute webinar will begin at 1 p.m. on Feb. 16. Presenters include Scott Christy, deputy secretary for highway administration with PennDOT, and Mark Murawski, Lycoming County planning and community development director and longtime transportation planner.

Christy will discuss the statewide ramifications of the Marcellus play on commonwealth roads and highways. Thousands of trips made by water trucks, seismic trucks, drilling rigs and construction equipment to and from the Marcellus fields are having a serious impact on transportation patterns and road maintenance.

Murawski will provide information regarding transportation effects on the locally owned road and bridge system in Lycoming County. He also will highlight the changes to commercial and general aviation service at the Williamsport Regional Airport and to rail freight service that have resulted from Marcellus Shale gas-exploration activity.

"In addition, I want to inform webinar participants on a major initiative to develop a regional compressed-natural-gas fueling facility in the Williamsport area that will benefit River Valley Transit operations," Murawski said. "It will spur other vehicle-fleet conversions from diesel to natural-gas fuels to fully utilize this local energy resource beneath our feet."

The webinar is part of a monthly series of online workshops that provide education about the opportunities and challenges related to the state's Marcellus Shale gas boom. Information about how to register for the session is available on the webinar page of Penn State Extension's natural-gas website at http://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas/webinars.

The next webinar in the series, at 1 p.m. on March 15, will focus on municipalities' roles related to water use and protection.

Previous webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website (http://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas), covering topics such as seismic testing, air pollution from gas development; the gas boom's effect on landfills; water use and quality; zoning; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; implications for local communities; gas pipelines and right-of-way issues; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

For more information, contact John Turack, extension educator based in Westmoreland County, at 724-837-1402 or by email at jdt15@psu.edu.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015