Marcellus Trade Group Issues Recommended Practices for Site Work
The State Journal
26 April 2012
By Pam Kasey
The Marcellus Shale Coalition released the first document April 26
in a series of "recommended practices" documents aimed at
providing guidance on a range of subjects.
"These content-rich guidance documents represent a level of detail
and transparency derived from many sources which will be updated
and refined as development continues," said Dave Spigelmyer of
Chesapeake Energy, chairman of the Canonsburg, Pa.-based trade
The first document, "Recommended Practices: Site Planning,
Development and Restoration," is based on operational best
practices already recognized by MSC members as well as on
recommendations developed through consultation with leading
sportsmen and conservation groups, according to an overview.
"Following these practices encourages the use of state-of-the art
techniques for environmental protection, the continuous
improvement of site-development and land-restoration practices,
and the recognition that operators must consider themselves
responsible members of the communities in which they work," the
overview reads. "The implementation of these practices provides
the best opportunity for sustained economic benefits reaching both
operators and communities alike."
Most of the 34-page document consists of a detailed section on
site planning, development and restoration.
"Operators are encouraged to coordinate closely with surface
owners — whether they be private individuals, businesses or
governmental agencies — on all aspects of site location and
design," reads part of the discussion in site recommendations on
working with surface owners.
"Operators should be willing to modify plans to account for
reasonable requests for such items as access road retention, pond
retention, wildlife habitat improvements, vegetative screening,
site drainage improvements and swales, and the creation of habitat
features like brush piles, vernal ponds, and nesting or cover
areas," it reads.
A one-page section stresses the importance of health and safety
practices in site work and refers operators to relevant federal
Occupational Safety and Health Administration fact sheets.
Also included are appendices on forest restoration;
re-establishment of the American chestnut; reclamation
recommendations from the National Wild Turkey Federation; contact
information for regulatory and conservation agencies in Ohio,
Pennsylvania and, West Virginia as well as at the federal level; a
list of references to restoration recommendations prepared by
government agencies and universities; and a list of habitat,
species, sportsman and agricultural organizations.
The MSC is developing its recommended practices documents through
months of research, stakeholder outreach and collaboration among
MSC member companies, the organization's media release said.
Download the site recommendations document overview and the full
document from the MSC's website.