Pennsylvania plans to lease waterways for gas exploration

HARRISBURG, Penn. — The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission will try to raise revenues by leasing portions of its 43,000 acres of waterways for natural gas exploration, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Funds generated would go to rebuild 16 dams with major structural problems.

Donegal Lake, in the southwest part of the state, will be the first to undergo drilling for Marcellus shale natural gas. The lake is a popular trout fishing area.

The commission estimates it will need $78 million to repair the dams, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The commission receives no state funding. It is supported by some federal funds as well as licensing fees.

About 14,000 acres — or about one-third — of the commission’s waterways are potential drilling sites. I

If approved, the drilling could start as early as this fall. Environmental and conservation groups are concerned about the potential impact of drilling and the pipeline on watersheds.

To read more on this issue, go to: Fish commission to lease waterways for gas drilling

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