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Communities of the Marcellus Shale

Wayne and Angel Smith
Wayne and Angel Smith, at their farm near Clearville in Bedford County, PA. Credit: Hannah Abelbeck and Elizabeth Berkowitz, Faces of Frackland (

Communities in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania have a lot on their plates right now. Deciding whether or not to give gas companies the right to drill could leave a family with a large sum of money, a water well contaminated with methane and arsenic, a noisy and unaesthetically pleasing atmosphere, or the status quo. But there are many other indirect ways to be affected by hydraulic fracturing and the natural gas industry. Underground storage areas for natural gas might be hovering beneath or near your property. Water contamination from natural gas leaks could affect aquifers and travel through waterways.

This section is dedicated to the people of the region. Increasing access to their stories will hopefully allow residents to make more informed decisions about their own properties and take new steps forward.