Pennsylvanians face an uncertain future regarding the development of shale natural gas pipelines without a common agenda, an official said.
County officials said they were frustrated with the lack of consistency with energy companies installing gas pipelines in the state.
"You bury a pipeline under a piece of prime real estate and you're not going to be able to develop," Richard Ward, the manager for Pennsylvania's Washington County, was quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as saying. "And if there's no consistency in the way the industry does it, then you'll have lines just all over the place."
The newspaper notes there are around 8,500 miles of natural gas pipelines in the state and that number could quadruple in the next 20 years as developers flock to the state's portion of the Marcellus shale deposit.
A review of pipeline rules in Pennsylvania conducted by The Philadelphia Inquirer concluded they're less stringent than in any other part of the United States.
Energy companies have spent about $2 billion a year on land leases during the past few years. Environmental groups in Pennsylvania worry that shale gas boom could damage the health of state forests.
The Environmental Protection Agency last week found drilling in shale deposits in Wyoming resulted in groundwater contamination. Shale gas is extracted using hydraulic fracturing, a process using a small amount of chemicals mixed into an aqueous solution to break up the rock.