An environmental group in Pennsylvania is calling on policymakers to strengthen rules that put sensitive places and locations where people live or work off-limits to natural gas drilling.

Philadelphia-based PennEnvironment said Thursday it found permitted Marcellus Shale gas well sites that are within two miles of numerous day cares, schools and hospitals in Pennsylvania.

It also says there are instances of environmental violations at drilling sites within two miles of schools and day cares.

Several bills awaiting action in the Legislature would increase the existing 200-foot buffer between drilling sites and buildings and water wells, as well as the 100-foot buffer around waterways.

One House bill would increase the existing buffer to 1,000 feet. Under certain conditions, a company would be able to get permission to drill within that buffer.


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