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By Anya Litvak
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

Cavern hunting: Appalachia's bid to rival the Gulf Coast


PITTSBURGH (AP) — For more than 400 million years — since salt, shale, and dolomite settled into a layer of rock that stretches from outcrops in upstate New York through the underground of Pennsylvania all the way to Michigan — the Salina formation was sealed away from human engineering.

Then came the oil and gas wells.

As drill bits pounded past the Salina to deeper, fuel-bearing layers, geologists grew intrigued by its salt zones.

In the 1960s, the U.S. government studied the formation as a possible host for radioactive waste. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists propose...

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