Landowners cry foul over seismic searches

A new battle is developing in the quest for natural gas in the Southern Tier.

This controversy doesn't involve drilling, pipelines or lease negotiations. It's about information and who has the right to collect it from under private property.

Gas companies are patrolling rural routes across the Southern Tier, using high-tech trucks that shoot seismic waves into the surrounding ground to discover geologic secrets under homes, farms and fields. The waves rebound off subterranean features and are captured by mobile electronic equipment that maps the riches of the Marcellus Shale Formation, one of the largest natural gas resources in the country, running under the Southern Tier and Pennsylvania.

Angry landowners say the gas companies are trespassing, and they're asking them to leave. They say gas companies have no right to use seismic waves to peek under their property.

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