Water Quality and Watersheds
There are 3,000 miles of roads in the Allegheny National Forest. Two thousand miles of these are non-system, oil and gas roads, which are not constructed or maintained according to Forest Service Standards. The resulting runoff and sedimentation impacts the Forest's springs, streams and in the Allegheny River. The problem is worsened by the acidic sandstone used to build the roads, which causes the acidification of the Forest's water resources. The density of well drilling, lack of monitoring, and weak regulations result in oil and gas spills, and drilling products and waste finding its way into the Forest's waterways. Marcellus Shale development has already begun in the ANF. The chemicals used in this deep drilling process, many of them known carcinogens, are unregulated. Massive water withdrawals from surface resources and aquifers are also allowed with no regulation and no monitoring. Deep gas well drilling requires millions of gallons for each well. No facilities to treat the toxic waste from the deep drilling process currently exist in Pennsylvania.
Allegheny Wild! A Citizen Vision For the Allegheny National Forest, defines a balance of priorities, values, and uses. This publically supported vision phases out industrial practices such as clearcutting and oil & gas drilling.