From the Carnegie Science Center:

On Tuesday, April 26, from 7–9 p.m., Carnegie Science Center will present Drilling Down on the Marcellus Shale: Environmental Impacts of Drilling, a lecture about one of the most pressing issues of our time. This adult-oriented talk is the second installment of a three-part series that encourages our community to take part in a public forum on a topic central to our region’s environmental and economic future.

Featured speaker is John Stolz, professor of Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences and director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University. Stolz is currently investigating the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction, with emphasis on water issues. He has published 63 journal articles and 30 book chapters, and has edited two books. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Fordham University and a doctorate in Microbial Ecology and Evolution from Boston University.

The Marcellus Shale, one of the largest reservoirs of unconventional natural gas in the world, is sitting directly under western Pennsylvania. This resource holds the potential to provide our region with a source of energy, jobs, and economic benefits. Its extraction, however, if done without proper safeguards, can result in the degradation of water and air quality, and loss of land use. This talk will provide an overview of the drilling industry, the processes involved, and the environmental impacts.
Stolz will address questions like: What chemicals are used in fracking, and why? Are there ways to safeguard the water supply? How should we handle the water used in fracking? Can earthquakes be caused by fracking? Following the talk, members of the audience are encouraged to share questions, comments, and viewpoints.

“Because so many landholders in our region are being approached by drilling companies, it is important that we offer a forum where the public can learn about the potential risks of drilling,” says John Radzilowicz, director of Science and Education at Carnegie Science Center. “We have a responsibility to the community to provide science-based information on what is quite possibly the toughest decision our region will ever make.”

The cost of this program is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Admission includes coffee and dessert. Registration is available online or by calling 412.237.3400, then press 7.

The Drilling Down on Marcellus Shale series continues in May with a presentation exploring the energy potential of harnessing the Marcellus Shale.