Dr. Susan Boser, associate professor in Department of Sociology, served as moderator for a public question-and-answer forum sponsored by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County on the Marcellus shale drilling being conducted on authority properties.
The event was held in Founders Hall on the campus of Westmoreland County Community College on November 18, 2010, and was attended by approximately 150 people.
Boser moderated a panel that included representatives from the municipal authority, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Consol Gas, Marathon Oil, Great Oak Energy, and attorney Denis Zuzik, Gibson Thomas Engineering.
Authority representatives collected questions from municipalities and residents in advance of the forum, and each panel member was given the opportunity to respond to concerns ranging from drilling procedures, safety practices, gas drilling leases, royalties, and risk to water supplies. Audience members could also submit questions to panel members during the forum.
“Community engagement in dialogue around these controversial issues is extremely important,” Boser said. “I commend the authority for taking such proactive steps toward getting as much information as possible out about the drilling activity.”
Boser is part of a team of IUP faculty members who have begun to explore opportunities in energy initiatives in coordination with the Office of Workforce Education and Economic Development, led by director Tracey Missien.
“Faculty from several departments have shown interest in becoming involved in regional energy topics. Dr. Boser’s willingness to moderate this event shows that IUP can certainly provide resources to the industry,” Missien said.
The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County service area includes the Beaver Run Reservoir, which provides drinking water to 150,000 residents, primarily in Westmoreland County.
More information about IUP’s energy capabilities may be obtained on the IUP website, Energy and the Environment: IUP Capabilities, or by contacting Missien by phone at 724-357-4082 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.