Companies that either lease land for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) or provide goods, services or workers to gas companies in the Marcellus Shale region should routinely re-evaluate their risk management strategies. A flurry of recent media attention in the last month of 2011 has provided these businesses with additional motivation to take stock of potential exposures moving forward into 2012.

For example, in addition to the ongoing debate over the environmental impact of the fracking process, critics are currently questioning the lack of regulations concerning the high-pressure pipelines that have been built to transport the natural gas out of the state. With potentially no federal or state government safety checks or construction standards for vast areas of this pipeline, it is more important than ever for businesses that contract with gas companies to evaluate how to best protect themselves from the gambit of fracking-related claims and litigation, which can include everything from on-the-job injuries to environmental contamination.

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