A new group is trying to foster cooperative ways for the natural gas industry to protect historic underground sites that may be disturbed by drilling.
The Gas and Preservation Partnership is holding a conference in Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday. Participants include representatives from Shell, Southwestern Energy, legal experts, and archaeological consulting firms.
The group estimates that there could be tens of thousands of historic sites in the Marcellus Shale drilling region of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, and hundreds of thousands nationally.
They say that currently no regulations require energy companies to assess potential impacts on most sites.
The partnership between the shale gas industry and the preservation community seeks to develop voluntary practices to help manage risks to historic sites.