Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Co-Principal Investigator: Motoko Mukai
Co-Principal Investigator: Todd Walter

Contact Information: Email:; Phone: 607-253-4101
Sponsor: Cornell Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
Grant Number: N/A
Title: A Proactive Approach to Ground & Surface Water Quality in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin in the Face of Shale Gas Development
Annual Direct Cost: $9,091
Project Period: 06/01/2011-06/30/2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): While there are many potential water resource issues associated with the likely development of New York State’s Marcellus shale gas resources, our revised research focus is limited to two primary “end-members” of the system: the quality of the current natural water resources and the potential biological threats by raw contaminants associated with the proposed gas extraction.

Planned research:

1) enhance baseline water quality assessments through testing of private water wells,
streams and rivers and, if appropriate, wastewater management and treatment facilities
2) identify compounds, and mixtures of compounds common to drilling operations that may function as potential endocrine disruptors.

The role of the New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI) will provide an interdisciplinary framework and overall knowledge of shale gas development, facilitate working relationships with a variety of academic, industrial and regulatory stakeholders, and work to transfer research results and expertise from Cornell to both internal and external partners. It is our intention to use the information produced by this project to develop a more comprehensive proposal with well-developed experimental protocols and focused hypotheses.