Here is your chance to make a difference in the Barnett Shale and in all areas suffering from the impacts of methane extraction. Your comments as instructed below are vital to this conversation
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Dear Senator Davis; It was a pleasure to meet with you and discuss your on-going concerns related to environmental and public health impacts from natural gas production and processing in the Barnett Shale area of your district. I believe that we can and should develop domestic supplies of natural gas, but also that we should do so in ways that protect public health and the environment, and comply with federal law. As I mentioned during our meeting, EPA has some important new actions underway which will help us address natural gas field pollution sources. Here is a quick recap of these new efforts: Ozone Air Quality Standard: On January 6, 2010, EPA proposed a new ozone ambient air standard that significantly strengthens our air quality benchmarks. The standard will have important public health benefits which far outweigh the cost of industrial controls. Compliance with the standard in the D-FW area is likely to require emissions reductions from a variety of source categories in the region, including from the oil and gas sector. I would encourage you and your constituents to participate in the process of setting these standards. The ozone standard comment period closes March 22, 2010. Send comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0172, through the www.regulations.gov website, or by email to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov . Up-to-date and plain-English information about the new ozone standard is available at: http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/actions.html. Enforcement: EPA takes its responsibilities to enforce federal environmental laws very seriously. Oil and gas field enforcement work is an area of ongoing activity at EPA Region 6. Furthermore, in December 2009, EPA’s national Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance proposed and requested public feedback on a series of possible national enforcement priorities, including “Resource Extraction”, which includes oil & gas production. The list of possible priorities can be reviewed in a recent EPA document (http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/planning/priorities/index.html), Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OECA-2009-0986. While the deadline for sending in official public comments on the enforcement priority list closed on January 19, 2010, you can still send unofficial correspondence to Christopher Knopes (email@example.com) or Lisa Lund (firstname.lastname@example.org), to describe the importance you and your constituents feel EPA should place on the enforcement of environmental laws related to oil and gas production. Oil and Gas Air Emission Standards: On January 13, 2010, EPA entered into a proposed consent decree with WildEarth Guardians in the U.S. District Court of Colorado to establish standards for a broad range of air pollutants from the oil & gas industry. The criteria pollutant standards will be part of EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) program, which regulates pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. The air toxic regulations will be part of EPA’s series of MACT standards, which regulate pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. You can read a copy of the proposed consent decree and the agreement to develop the new standards at: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=EPA-HQ-OGC-2010-0007. As these rules are developed over the next 18-24 months, the public will be invited to provide review and comment. I will keep your office posted about opportunities for public participation.
Toll Free Hotline: On January 27, 2010, EPA has setup a toll-free hotline through our regional office in Philadelphia, for public to provide EPA with concerns about the environmental impacts of oil and gas activity, including improper disposal of wastes. Citizens should call 1-877-919-4EPA. Calls from people in Region 6 will be directed to my office for review.
Study of Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Water: The President’s 2011 Budget for EPA, announced on February 1, 2010, includes $4.3 million for a new study of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water, a national study which will be coordinated by the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD). People throughout the country are concerned about the conservation and smart use of our water resources, and this study will provide valuable data as we work to conserve and protect our surface and ground water, and ensure that waste disposal activities don’t impact drinking water sources. You can read details of President Obama’s Budget for our agency at: http://www.epa.gov/budget/2011/2011bib.pdf
Thank you for joining me to discuss our mutual interest of protecting the environment and people’s health in Fort Worth. I am pleased to send you the details of these recent EPA initiatives. As you can see, the Agency is moving quickly and in a variety of areas. I look forward to working with you on this and other matters.
From the comments:
I have created an easy way to email the EPA that you support the new ozone ambient air standard. Click on the link provided: