Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission seeking public input

The Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission was recently formed to gain input from residents from across Pennsylvania regarding the impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling. Co-chaired by former state representatives Dan Surra and Carole Rubley, the group is in the process of holding a series of five hearings across the state to gain feedback so that a report can be prepared and sent to Governor Tom Corbett. Those hearings, which began Wednesday evening in the southwestern part of the state at South Fayette Middle School in McDonald, will each run from 6 to 9 p.m. and, in addition to residents' comments, will also feature testimony from experts. The remaining hearings will be held at The Free Library of Philadelphia in Philadelphia on Sept. 6, Lycoming College in Williamsport on Sept. 13, and Wysox Volunteer Fire Company in Wysox on Sept. 14. The final hearing will be held in Harrisburg during the week of Sept. 18 at a site that has yet to be announced. Even though none of the hearings are scheduled to be held in northwestern Pennsylvania, area residents can still ensure their voices are heard. In addition to collecting information from residents at the hearings, individuals can also leave comments online for the commission through the organization's website,, by clicking on "contact the commission" and then "submit your comments online."During a media conference call earlier this week to announce the formation of the Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission, Surra and Rubley fielded questions and elaborated on the group's purpose. Surra explained that the report prepared by the group at the conclusion of the hearings will supplement and add to the work done by the governor's commission on Marcellus Shale.