May 19: Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project training

The Mountain Watershed Association and the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh will be holding a Marcellus Visual Assessment Training in Pittsburgh on May 19, 2011 as part of the new Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project.  This project, which is being piloted in the Youghiogheny River watershed but is expected to spread throughout the southwestern Pennsylvania region, provides citizens with tools and knowledge to responsibly monitor Marcellus shale development to aid in community and environmental protection.

The Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project offers basic Visual Assessment Trainings that provide information on monitoring Marcellus shale development. Participants will learn to use their senses of sight, hearing and smell to identify potential issues resulting from drilling operations; this approach is unique because no technical equipment is necessary.  Data gathered through this process is uploaded using simple online forms and eventually is integrated into FracTracker, an interactive data platform providing citizens with a common place to learn about and share information on Marcellus shale
gas operations.  Visual Assessment Trainings also provide information on permitting and regulations, air and water pollution, the use of FracTracker, how to file a complaint, and safety.  After completing this basic training, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for further instruction in air or water monitoring.

This event is free and open to the public, and citizens in areas where Marcellus shale extraction is occurring or proposed are encouraged to attend.

6-9 p.m. at the Bridgeside Point building, 100 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh 15219 (Map).  For more information about the event, visit or contact Veronica Coptis at the Mountain Watershed Association: 724-455-4200, ext. 4#.

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