A Quest to Make Marcellus Roads Environmentally Friendly

Oct 15, 2010

Tim Ziegler stands on the section of test road created specially to hold up to heavy Marcellus Shale drilling truck traffic.
Credit Emily Reddy / WPSU

Marcellus shale drilling across Pennsylvania has expanded tremendously in the last couple of years. To extract the natural gas, companies drill straight down about 5,000 feet then shoot highly-pressured water mixed with chemicals and sand vertically through the shale to release the gas. It’s called hydrofracturing, or “fracking.” The whole process requires heavy equipment and millions of gallons of water to be trucked in over roads built to carry passenger cars. Travel with WPSU to Luzerne County to find out an unexpected environmental impact of ruined roads and the unlikely group that’s trying to do something about it.