Consol greens up Pennsylvania well pad

CONSOL Energy has partnered with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to plant spruce trees on a Marcellus shale gas well site as part of an Arbor Day initiative to return the land to its original habitat.

Lou Caruana

Fifteen Consol employees took part in the planting at the Aikens well pad, which sits on a 60-acre site adjacent to Beaver Run reservoir, Consol vice president of northern Appalachian gas operations Craig Neal said.

"At Consol Energy, we relate every activity in which we engage to our core values – safety and environmental compliance," he said.

"In fact, we strive to not only meet, but to exceed both the letter and the spirit of the law in this regard."

With 31 Marcellus wells, the site produces enough natural gas to heat 300,000 homes. In addition, 150,000 people depend on the reservoir as their primary source of water.

Consol recognized the importance of environmental management and practicesd the responsible use of the land, water and air in its operational areas, Neal said.

In accordance with compliance obligations, Consol aimed to reclaim land post energy development back to its original or better condition, he said, and a vital component of this was reforestation.

"As part of the reclamation phase of the Aikens pad, we have already planted 2300 trees on two different sites," he said.

Consol also values its partnerships with conservation and wildlife organizations – groups such as the PA Game Commission that help make land management decisions benefiting not only the company, but the communities in which it operates, according to Neal.

PA Game Commission Southwest Region land manager Doug Dunklerley said: "Consol Energy has donated or transferred thousands of acres to the Pennsylvania Game Commission statewide to remain in wildlife habitat for perpetuity.

"They have led the way and set the standards we now require of all energy companies. Wise Marcellus and Utica Shale development has provided much needed funding for our agency. We need these industries to thrive and do so in an environmentally responsible way."

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