EMPORIUM – Marcellus Shale gas drilling has returned to the Elk State Forest, according to Jeanne M. Wambaugh, district forester.
This past March, Seneca Resources began the process of drilling for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale layer in the East Branch Dam area of the Elk state Forest. Seneca, Wambaugh said, has plans to drill multiple wells on at least a half-dozen pads and to also develop the associated infrastructure, such as pipelines, compressors and meter stations to safely transport this gas to the market.
According to her, Seneca has been proactive and cooperative in the planning process, so far as to minimize impacts to the Elk State Forest and its users, including camp lessees and snowmobilers.
In the Hicks Run area, Wambaugh said that EQT has been active in preparing for a couple of Marcellus Shale wells and a pipeline project on State Game Lands 14. In order for EQT to access their projects on Game Lands 14, she said they will need to utilize all of East Hicks and Hicks Run roads from state Route 555 to the Game Lands Parking area near Erickson’s Tree Farm.
EQT will be restricted as to when they can use these roads to minimize conflict and increase safety with the upcoming fall hunting and wildlife viewing seasons, said Wambaugh.
When traveling in both areas, Wambaugh asks that motorists please be cautious, as there will be increased truck traffic and activity.