Shale Gas Rapid Response Project

Through our Shale Gas Rapid Response Project, we are coordinating an effort to help identify communities in southwestern Pennsylvania that are the most vulnerable to future oil and gas development. In doing so, our goal is to provide education and resources to people in those communities to enable them to make prudent decisions regarding the future of their neighborhoods, and the health, safety, and well-being of their families and friends.

The Rapid Response Project can be broken down into three, interconnected parts:

  1. Working in coordination with FracTracker Alliance, a leading resource on oil and gas issues, we have created an interactive map based on zoning with the goal of streamlining the citizen participation process in local zoning procedures. By entering a zip code, users will have access to all pertinent information regarding zoning in their locality, including links to ordinances, comprehensive plans, and contact information for municipal officials. You can get started exploring the map now!
  2. MWA is also in the process of developing a “Citizen Response Guide to Zoning” which will include a plain language summary of current zoning laws and discuss how citizens can harness these laws to protect their communities from harmful industry practices. Keep checking back to our site for updates on the arrival date of the guide.
  3. We have also partnered with Halt The Harm, a network that connects leaders and supporters in the movement to halt the harms of fracking, to update their Resource Directory, as well as formulate an interactive flowchart that will guide concerned citizens through the steps necessary to protect themselves from future oil and gas expansion.

Due to the never ending push from industry for expansion into additional areas of southwestern Pennsylvania, residents are often forced to face difficult questions: What can I do to prevent the construction of a well pad? Can I petition my local government for better protections? Should I consider pursuing legal action?

Our ultimate goal is to use all of the resources housed under our Rapid Response Project, as well as others being produced by our partners, as a streamlined outreach tool to be provided to local citizens looking for answers to these difficult questions. They also serve as a reminder that no matter what your level of experience in organizing, anyone with will and determination can make a difference.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding the Shale Gas Rapid Response Project, feel free to contact our community organizer, Ashley Funk at or (724) 455-4200, ext. 6#.

More Information

To find upcoming events, meetings and trainings, please review our upcoming events. You may also consider joining our mailing list to receive up-to-date information relevant to Marcellus shale activities.