A comprehensive, new review of the impacts of shale oil and gas development in Texas by a cross-disciplinary task force of top researchers—organized by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)—finds a wide range of both benefits and consequences for the state’s infrastructure, environment and communities. These impacts are detailed in the new report by the TAMEST Shale Task Force, Environmental and Community Impacts of Shale Development in Texas.
The TAMEST Shale Task Force collected the best science available and summarized what they learned about impacts of shale oil and gas developments in Texas for this report, with a focus on six key areas: seismicity, land, air, water, transportation, and economic and social impacts.
Researchers from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) provided their expertise for the transportation impacts chapter of the report.
“The task force met several times over the past year,” said TTI Senior Research Engineer Cesar Quiroga. “My task was to summarize the lessons learned from all the reports that we had already written and reference that material in Chapter 7, Transportation, of the report. The experience and support we’ve had from other agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation, the State Legislature, the Railroad Commission and counties since the beginning of the energy boom were fundamental in helping us develop this content for the TAMEST report.”
Other task force members who contributed to the TAMEST report and are affiliated with the Texas A&M University (TAMU) System included John Barton, executive director of the RELLIS Campus, and Urs Kreuter, Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at TAMU.
The report identifies what still needs to be learned and the steps to take to fill in those gaps in knowledge. The report proposes consideration of policies to help address impacts, offers recommendations for future research, and identifies opportunities for greater collaboration among public-sector and private-sector stakeholders.
More detailed information about findings and recommendations from each of these impact areas can be found at www.tamest.org/shale-task-force.
“The TAMEST task force did an excellent job of providing the framework for the development and release of the report,” said Quiroga. “I hope this report will help to bring attention and focus to the need for strategies and solutions that look at shale energy developments and how these developments interact with infrastructure systems, communities and the environment in the State in a holistic manner.”