This should not be surprising. Where hydrocarbons are produced, you will find toxics. Benzene is only one of those.
For Immediate Release
January 23, 2013
SHALETEST AIR TESTING SHOW ELEVATED BENZENE LEVELS IN THE BARNETT SHALE
Based on results of a recent air study, benzene is still elevated around natural gas production facilities in the Barnett Shale.
Barnett Shale– During the month of October 2012 members of the non-profit organizationShaleTest.org visited many sites throughout the Barnett Shale in North Texas. These sites were viewed through a FLIR Gasfindir camera, which detects Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Many of these sites had visible emissions present and unfortunately many of these sites were close to communities, city parks, restaurants and other place where people congregate. Former Mayor of DISH, TX and co-founder of ShaleTest.org says that “it is a shame that over the past several years we still have a problem with the oil and gas industry polluting the air of North Texas, it is time for the industry to step up and be the good neighbors they claim to be on the industry funded commercials”.
During this visits ambient air monitoring was performed using stainless steel summa canisters. Results of this monitoring show the presence of several chemicals including the well-known carcinogen benzene. A Kinder Morgan gas processing facility located on Jim Baker Rd. west of DISH, TX showed elevated levels of benzene and toluene, as well as many other chemicals known to be present at facilities such as this. ShaleTest documented emissions at a similar facility near downtown Fort Worth on Nixon Street Operated by Chesapeake Energy. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality performed sampling that validated ShaleTest’s concerns, finding elevated levels of benzene and toluene at this facility. “Looking forward into 2013 we must make our health and environment a priority. It is unacceptable that the natural gas industries are ignoring the devastating impacts they have on citizens and the environment.” says Susan Sullivan, board member of ShaleTest.
ShaleTest is a non-profit organization that provides environmental testing for lower income families, and was performing this monitoring at the request of several citizens on the Barnett Shale.