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PUC sets hearing on Marcellus shale pipes

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is holding a special hearing as part of efforts to clarify and possibly expand its role in regulating burgeoning Marcellus shale gas well and gas pipeline development.

The hearing by the commission on April 22 in Harrisburg is expected to examine a host of safety issues, including whether the PUC has jurisdiction over the pipelines that will transport gas pulled from the 5,000- to 8,000-foot-deep shale layer beneath three-quarters of the state.

Tyrone Christy, PUC vice chairman, said development of the state’s shale gas field or "play," thought to hold as much as 363 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, raised numerous issues about the commission’s core regulatory functions and scope.

"We believe that these issues need to be examined and these questions answered sooner rather than later so that we can fully protect the public while not stifling economic growth," Mr. Christy said in a hearing notice last week.

Read more about the PUC hearing.

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