Although we have models, such as the boomtown impact model, that suggest what community impacts we might see from Marcellus shale development, research has revealed a range of social impacts, and inconsistencies across and within communities. Every person experiences Marcellus Shale development differently, based on factors such as their geographic location, the history of their community, and their own unique characteristics and circumstances.
When assessing information about community impacts of Marcellus Shale development, it’s important to look for signs of causation. Look for research techniques used to establish causation including:
- Measuring at several points in time – ideally before, during, and after development
- Comparing places with and without Marcellus Shale development activity
- Controlling for additional variables that could be affecting the outcome