McElroy to Speak on “Water Quality Issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania” at Science Inspires Series

Posted on 2/20/2015 4:19:12 PM

The second speaker of the spring semester’s Science Inspires Series is Nathan McElroy from the Department of Chemistry.

Title:

“Water Quality Issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania”

Date and Time:

March 5 at 3:30 p.m.

Location:

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