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Marcellus Shale Drilling Activity and Crime Trends in Pennsylvania

In response to recent concerns about the potential negative impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling in rural PA, the Justice Center analyzed crime reports and state police incidents to address whether a relationship exists between drilling activity and increased crime in Marcellus Shale counties. Results indicated that there was no clear association during recent years.

Project Team

  • Principal Investigator: Gary Zajac, Ph.D. (gxz3@psu.edu)
  • Research Associate: Lindsay Kowalski, M.A.

About the Project

  • Investigated crime in rural PA counties in response to concerns regarding negative impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling.

Research Questions

  • Is there a relationship between drilling activity and increased crime in Marcellus Shale counties?
  • How do Marcellus regions compare to other rural PA counties in terms of crime?

Project Details

    • Identified 7 counties with most Marcellus drilling activity.
    • Analyzed Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) incidents/calls for service and Uniform Crime Reports.

    Results

    • No clear association between Marcellus Shale drilling and criminal activity.
    • Non-Marcellus areas have seen a decrease in PSP incidents during recent years.

    Final Report