2019 Shale Network Workshop

View and download presentations from the 2019 Shale Network Workshop here.

Monitoring Communities and Their Environment

The Shale Network will hold its eighth annual workshop at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College, Pa. ​

Dates: May 16-17

Location: The Nittany Lion Inn

About the Workshop

The workshop provides an opportunity for citizen scientists, researchers, government officials, energy company representatives, and environmental professionals to compare lessons learned about water and environmental issues within areas where shale energy development is occurring.

The 2019 workshop features a field trip to two shale energy-related sites that manage solid and liquid wastes derived from well drilling and oil and gas production. The first is a tour of the Eureka Resources Williamsport, Pa. facility, an oil and gas wastewater management plant. This facility is designed for the pretreatment, recycling and disposal of wastewater from natural gas drilling and production operations in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. The second is a tour of the Wayne Township Landfill in Clinton County, Pa. The landfill manages drilling cuttings and muds generated primarily from shale well drilling operations and uses some novel practices to minimize the industry’s environmental footprint. In addition, the facility hosts a compressed natural gas filling station for vehicles, including trash hauling vehicles. The tentative field trip schedule is as follows:


9:30 a.m.

Meet in Nittany Lion Inn lobby

9:45 a.m.

Depart for Williamsport

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tour Eureka Resources gas well wastewater treatment facility

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Bring your own lunch

1:00 p.m.

Depart for Wayne Township

1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Tour Wayne Township Landfill

4:30 p.m.

Return to Nittany Lion Inn


The Shale Network is a collaborative effort between Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences Inc. (CUAHSI) to collect and analyze data on water quality in the Marcellus Shale drilling region. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection participates in organizing parts of the workshop. Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) also provides funding.

2019 Shale Network Workshop TENTATIVE Agenda

Monitoring Communities and Their Environment

Thursday, May 16, 2019
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Field Trip to Eureka Resources, LLC and Wayne Township Landfill
(Meet in The Nittany Lion Inn main lobby at 9:30 a.m. to depart at 9:45 a.m.)
David Yoxtheimer (Penn State University) 

***All Sessions are in Boardrooms 1 & 2 at The Nittany Lion Inn unless noted otherwise***

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Outside Boardrooms 1 & 2


5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Boardroom 1

Ice Breaker
Poster presenters: put posters up for Ice Breaker and poster presentation during lunch Friday. 

7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Boardroom 2

Group Discussion (facilitated by the PA Coal – Gas Committee): Issues Related to the Interface of Coal Mining and Natural Gas Development
Moderators: Susan L. Brantley (Penn State University), Seth Pelepko (PA DEP)

Greg Rumbaugh (MSHA Technical Services), John Love (Dominion Energy Transmission), Carl Carlson (Range Resources), Casey Saunders (Consol), Heather Dougherty, Daniel Su, Steven Schatzel (NIOSH)  

Friday, May 17, 2019
***All Sessions are in Boardrooms 1 & 2 at The Nittany Lion Inn unless noted otherwise***

7:15 a.m.
Outside Boardrooms 1 & 2


7:30 a.m.
Breakfast located outside Boardrooms

Continental Breakfast and Poster Setup
Speakers, please upload talks before session starts
Poster presenters: put posters up before 8:00 a.m. and remove by 5:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m.

Shale Network: Promoting Better Dialogue about Environmental Issues around Shale Gas Development for Communities
Susan L. Brantley (Penn State University), Shale Network Team

8:20 a.m.

Collaboration in Shale Gas Development: The Case of the Center for Responsible Shale Development
Jared Cohon (Carnegie Melon University; Chair of the Center for Responsible Shale Development) 

8:40 a.m.

The Trajectory of Shale Gas Development, Natural Gas Liquids, and the Plastics Industry in the Northeastern USA
Warren Wilczewski (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

9:00 a.m.

Petrochemical Facility Overview and Update, Monaca PA: The "Cracker Plant”
Jim Sewell (Environmental Manager, Shell Chemical Company)

9:20 a.m.

Involving Communities in Decision Making: The PA “Cracker Plant”
Jennifer Baka (Penn State University)

9:40 a.m. Mapping and Reservoir Characterization of Geologic Intervals for Natural Gas Liquids Storage Applications
Kristin Carter (PA Geological Survey; Douglas G. Patchen (WV University Research Corporation); Jessica P. Moore (West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey); Mohammad Fakhari (Ohio Division of Geologic Survey); Gary Daft, Philip Dinterman (West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey); Michael P. Solis (Ohio Division of Geologic Survey); Robin V. Anthony, Katherine W. Schmid, Brian J. Dunst, Antonette Markowski, Stephen Shank (PA Geological Survey)
10:00 a.m. Where Does Frac Water Come From?  An Overview of Regulatory and Monitoring Experiences from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission with Focus on Natural Gas Development
James Shallenberger (Susquehanna River Basin Commission)
10:20 a.m.

Coffee Break
Speakers, please upload talks for next session

10:30 a.m.

Panel Discussion: Can Government, Industry, and Citizenry Work Together? How It Works and How It Could Work
Afton Sterling (Southwestern Energy), Jessica Shirley (PA Department of Environmental Protection), Jennifer Baka (Penn State University), Matthew Mehalik (Breathe Project)

11:30 p.m.

Beneficial Re-Use of Shale Gas Brines?
Nathaniel Warner, Thomas J. Geeza (Penn State University); David P. Gillikin (Union College); Bonnie McDevitt, Katherine Van Sice, Audrey Stallworth, Frank Dorman, William Burgos, Patrick Drohan, Katherine E. Marak, Miriam Arak Freedman (Penn State University)

11:50 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Reception-Style Lunch and Poster Session
Afternoon speakers, please upload talks 

Coffee service located outside Boardrooms

Boardroom 1
From Imacts to Exposure

Boardroom 2
Connecting Science and Communities

1:00 p.m.

A Semi-Quantitative Geospatial Pollutant-Specific Exposure Metric for Use in Health Studies Associated with Unconventional Natural Gas Development in Pennsylvania
James Fabisiak (University of Pittsburgh)

Petrochemical Development and Plastics: Community Impacts and Economics
Matthew Mehalik (Breathe Project)

1:20 p.m.

Investigating Hydrocarbon Sources in Upland Groundwater, Marcellus Shale Region, Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York
Bruce Lindsey, Peter B. McMahon, Matthew Conlon (U.S. Geological Survey)

Connecting Community Organizations, Schools, and Volunteers through Water Quality Monitoring
Holly Travis, Katie Farnsworth (Indiana University of PA); Matt Genchur (Stormwater Education Partnership)

1:40 p.m.

What to do with shale gas brines if recycling for hydraulic fracturing is not feasible?
Radisav D. Vidic, Vikas Khanna (University of Pittsburgh)

Working with citizen scientists and homeowners to understand hydrocarbon-related contamination of water resources near oil and gas development
Josh Woda, Tao Wen (Penn State University); Jacob Lemon (Trout Unlimited); Frederick B. Zelt (Independent Geoscientist); Chuck Keeports (National Forest Service); Susan L. Brantley, (Penn State University)

2:00 p.m.  Break for coffee, rooms opened back up for Plenary
2:15 p.m. Methane Emissions from New and Legacy Oil and Gas Development
Mary Kang (McGill University)
2:35 p.m.

Methane Emissions from Unconventional Natural Gas Production in the Marcellus Shale
Zachary Barkley, Ken Davis (Penn State University); Thomas Lauvaux (Universite Paris-Saclay); Aijun Deng (Utopus Insights, Inc); Natasha Miles, Scott Richardson (Penn State University); Colm Sweeney, Alan Fried (University of Colorado)  

2:55 p.m.

A Status Report on the Management of Legacy Well Liability by PA DEP
Seth Pelepko, Harry Wise, Serena Oldhouser (PA DEP)

3:15 p.m.

A Legal Perspective on Abandoned Wells in Pennsylvania
Katherine Knickelbein and Rick Watling (Office of Chief Counsel for the PA DEP)

3:35 p.m.

Wrap Up Plenary Discussion: What Do We Need to Do Next?
Susan L. Brantley, Radisav Vidic, Jennifer Baka

4:00 p.m.

Assessment and Adjournment
Poster presentersplease remove your posters promptly.


Continuing Professional Education

Attendees can receive: 

  • Professional Development Hours for professional engineers, land surveyors and geologists

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