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The sound of drills piercing the Marcellus Shale formation has pricked up the ears of attorneys whose practices range from tax and regulatory to land use and environmental. But personal injury lawyers and class action attorneys have also taken notice of what some believe is an environmental disaster in waiting because of a lack of state government oversight and a natural gas industry rushing to get a piece of the shale.

“The Marcellus Shale [could create] horrendous injuries because you have all this liquid and gas at high pressure, being carried over pipelines, being stored in million gallon ponds and tanks and being injected into the ground at high pressure,” said Michael Rosenzweig, a partner and litigation manager in the Pittsburgh office of Edgar Snyder & Associates. “The failure scenarios are quite robust.”

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