Natural gas emissions don’t normally contain NOx so TCEQ claims there is no reason to add drilling activities to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) but thanks to this TCEQ report, adding Barnett Shale drilling operations may be easier than we thought.
In November, after a long night of grinding and screeching noise from a drilling rig in their backyard, the Ruggieros woke up surrounded by a black cloud of diesel that extended for miles. The diesel fumes belching from the rig on Aruba Petroleum’s drilling site, were constant since drilling began. But on this day, they were worse than before so Christine called TCEQ. The results of the TCEQ testing show amazing levels of NOx.
From the conclusion of the report:
Continuous operations of three diesel engines greater than 400 horsepower at this site resulted in significant emissions of nitrogen oxides. An estimate of maximum nitrogen oxide concentration over one hour on the complaintant’s property was predicted using SCREEN3, an air dispersion model, to be 380 parts per billion. The current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for nitrogen dioxide is 53 parts per billion averaged over one year. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a standard of 80 to 100 parts per billion nitrogen dioxide averaged over one hour. Aruba should consider using nitrogen oxide controls on its diesel engines in situations where potential off-site impacts are high.
The TCEQ inspector was meticulous in his reporting which reminds us that there are people in the trenches who go to work each day, care and try to do a good job.
Aruba Petroleum has moved the rig to another location and where…
In Christine’s own words:
WHY DOES ARUBA GET TO CONSIDER USING NITROGEN OXIDE CONTROLS ON ITS DIESEL ENGINES IN SITUATIONS WHERE POTENTIAL OFF-SITE IMPACTS ARE HIGH? Given the NAAQS and EPA standards referenced, why is Aruba allowed to be so out of compliance? Is it because the operation was in the drilling phase. I believe so. I believe that surface owners are at the mercy of the mineral right owner to negotiate the terms of the drilling phase in the lease to protect the surface right owners health during this period. I wonder if mineral right owners know that this is the case. No regulation during the drilling phase therefore the mineral right owner is responsible for protecting his/her “servants”. The TCEQ will not step in until the drilling phase is complete, so therefore, it is the mineral right owner and the drilling company that hold all the cards in protecting, or not in the case of Aruba Petroleum and Herb Wright, the health of those who live on top of their minerals. Only when the drilling phase is complete, will the TCEQ potentially step in. Before that, you get the Railroad Commission. Yippee..
2. Am I and my family considered an OFF-SITE IMPACT I feel so human to be referred to as an off-site impact given that I and my family live here and pay taxes on the property that Aruba Petroleum has now occupied for at least the next 30 years and where we used to keep our horses. Tim, Christine, and Reilly are an off-site impact. You might be too.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out.
Read more about how Aruba Petroleum Operates in the Barnett Shale.