Environmental enforcement and compliance in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale gas development

Meiyu Guo*, Yuan Xu, Yongqin David Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid development of shale gas in the United States raises potential concerns about environmental impacts. This paper examines how environmental regulations are enforced in shale gas development in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale development and the resulting compliance behaviors, employing the economic literature of crime and punishment as the analytical framework. A three-level hierarchical linear model (HLM) is used to analyze the enforcement and compliance performance of regulators and shale gas operators, respectively, employing data spanning from 2011 to 2017. Significant variation in the environmental non-compliance exists between both wells and operators. The empirical results suggest progressive directions for adjusting environmental enforcement strategies in Pennsylvania and provide implications and references for other regions with similar shale gas ambitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Environmental enforcement and compliance
  • Hierarchical linear modeling
  • Shale gas


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