Quality of Life—Economic Impacts
As mentioned above, the local economy can undergo a contraction after the project closes; economic opportunities accompanying the project dwindle, and project workers and employees in associated industries leave the area. The community can suffer a corresponding loss of revenue for infrastructure and critical services, such as public health departments and policing.
Quality of Life – Noise Impacts
In the decommissioning phase, there can be temporary noise impacts from construction and earth-moving equipment and some truck traffic as the operator removes all equipment, grades the site, spreads topsoil, and restores vegetation in the area.
Quality of Life – Visual Impacts
As described above, in many cases the land can be restored to the condition specified in surface use agreements or in accordance with state and/or regulatory requirements. In some areas of the country, however, significant deforestation can persist for many years after decommissioning. For example, in Pennsylvania, 64% of projected well locations are on forested lands; as a result, 34,000 to 82,000 acres of forest may be cleared by 2030. 1
- New York Department of Environmental Conservation Study (April 2015). ↩