The second speaker of the spring semester’s Science Inspires
Series is Nathan McElroy from the Department of Chemistry.
“Water Quality Issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania”
March 5 at
Weyandt Hall, Room 208
For over 150 years, Southwestern Pennsylvania has been a source of fossil fuel
extraction activities, including oil, coal, and natural gas. The amount of
and proximity to such vast energy reserves also supported related industries
such as fuel refining, chemical feedstock production, and steel milling. For a
century, this region experienced great economic growth and provided employment
at mills, mines, and railroads. Though these industries have waned in recent
decades, we’re now experiencing a rebound of sorts in energy extraction from
the Marcellus Shale.
In addition to the economic advantages of these
anthropogenic activities, there is an impact on surface and ground water
quality in our region. Recently, the popular media and general public have
tended to focus on hydraulic fracturing as the sole source of water quality
issues, but the problem is more complex than that.
This presentation will
include a discussion on our region’s water quality, descriptions of local
monitoring programs, and suggestions for future steps to address concerns on
both sides of the issue.
Following the talk, we invite faculty and staff to a reception in Breezedale.
Department of Chemistry