The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may consider including in their hydraulic fracturing study the impacts on air quality that the shale gas extraction process could have. Direct conversations with EPA staff indicate that they plan to conduct a full life cycle analysis and assess greenhouse gas issues, and may also look at air quality in general. You can read the full explanation in the reposted article from the Daily Sentinel below, but sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words; in the following snapshot from FracTracker’s DataTool, check out the lack of ozone monitors located near current Marcellus Shale gas wells in PA.
EPA considers expanding fracturing study to air quality
BY DENNIS WEBB – THE DAILY SENTINEL
Reposted – August 14, 2010
Recently retired Environmental Protection Agency environmental engineer Weston Wilson is best known for criticizing his employer’s 2004 finding that hydraulic fracturing poses little or no risk to domestic groundwater.
Now, the Denver EPA whistleblower is encouraged by the agency’s interest in studying the natural gas development procedure’s potential impacts on air quality as well.
“I’m proud of EPA now,” not just for undertaking the study, but indicating it may expand the study’s reach beyond water, Wilson said.
His position puts him at odds with the oil and gas industry. At a Denver EPA meeting this summer, several industry representatives argued the study should be limited, as directed by a congressional committee, to the relationship between fracturing and groundwater. “And certainly not air quality,” as Kathleen Sgamma of the Western Energy Alliance put it.
But one of a number of Garfield County residents who say their health has been affected by drilling says he supports the idea of the EPA considering whether fracturing creates airborne health concerns as well.
“I think they should look at all aspects that affect public health,” Ron Galterio said.
He and several other Battlement Mesa residents say they’ve suffered ill effects from fumes from recent nearby fracturing operations by Antero Resources.
Josh Joswick of the San Juan Citizens Alliance told the EPA during its Denver meeting, “I don’t think you can study water without studying air.” Read more.