Although shale drilling operations for oil and natural gas have increased greatly in the past decade, few studies directly quantify the impacts of shale development on plants and wildlife.
The potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) as they relate to human health have been discussed at great depth, but there are relatively few major federal laws governing fracking activities.
High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) occurs at increasing density across potentially 280,000 km2 of the eastern United States
underlain at depth by the natural gas–bearing Marcellus and Utica shales. These industrial installations and their edge effects alter as much as 80% of local landscapes.
Eastern states from New York to West Virginia are undergoing largescale development of natural gas resources from the Marcellus shale.