Actually, it’s more correct to say they glossed the findings over with a thick coating of shiny stuff.
Air Study Shows No Harmful Levels of Benzene, Other Compounds in Fort Worth and Arlington, District 2
Posted on: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 – 09:08
From the BSEEC/Titan Engineering air study final report:
“it is TITAN’s opinion that the elevated formaldehyde concentrations are not being caused by NG Site operations, but instead are being caused by both vehicular traffic and an unidentified source located to the near south/southwest of the NG Site. During the sampling event, TITAN field personnel did not [however] identify any type of emission source that could have caused or contributed to the formaldehyde concentrations”.
The truth, delivered to us Monday in a presentation at the EPA meeting by Houston Advanced Research Center is that formaldehyde levels are more than TWICE the levels in the Houston Ship Channel—2.4 times to be exact.
What do the experts say about formaldehyde?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.
The US National Toxicology program lists formaldehyde as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), has concluded that formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen
North Texas air is worse than the Houston Ship Channel thanks to the Barnett Shale.
Earlier in the year, TCEQ Toxicologist, Shannon Ethridge, compared the levels of benzene in our air to that of the Houston Ship Channel.
However, some of the TCEQ’s testing so far in the Barnett Shale area has shown “some of the highest benzene concentrations we have monitored in the state.” She compared some of the DFW area emissions to those found in the highly industrialized Houston Ship Channel area. LINK
Now we learn that our formaldehyde levels are worse than the Houston Ship Channel.
Here are the numbers:
TCEQ Effects Screening Level (ESL) for HCHO (formaldehyde):
- Acute Short-Term (1 hr): 12 ppb
- Chronic (1 yr): 4.5 ppb (cancer endpoint) This is the important number to me because I live here long-term.
Max 2 hr urban roadside concentrations observed in U.S.
- 17 ppb (HEI, 2007) MAXIMUM from cars
Max 1 hr HCHO in Houston Ship Channel:
- 52 ppb
Barnett Shale levels of formaldehyde:
- 69 ppb
- 81 ppb
- 100 ppb
- 114 ppb
- 127 ppb (2.4 times higher than Houston Ship Channel and 7.5 times higher than maximum roadside levels.)
Following the recommendations in DRILL RIGHT TEXAS: Best oil & gas development practices for Texas would greatly improve these emission problems but industry has shown they will not employ these technologies willingly.
On August 2, The Fort Worth Business Press published an opinion written BSEEC director Ed Ireland.
That is why we chose a licensed engineering firm whose professional engineering stamp on the final report means they are subject to criminal penalties and a loss of their licenses should any information be falsified or inaccurate.
Note to BSEEC, Titan Engineering and BSEEC toxicologist, Dr. Janet Kester:
In case you notice that your credibility is missing, check here:
Formaldehyde presentation by HARC at EPA meeting
For the latest updates on formaldehyde in the Barnett Shale and associated health effects, follow the formaldehyde label.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Mike H. says
"The formaldehyde comes from fish in the nearby ponds burping."
At least I'm expecting that kind of irresponsible claim about this finding.
Many engines that burn natural gas as a fuel can and do produce formaldehyde–depending upon engine quality. These include compressor stations, amine reboilers and glycol dehydrators. Also flares also produce it. Lots of formaldehyde in Booger County, also a lot of cancer there!
Spoke to Mr Ed Irland tonight at the Ft Worth meeting and the offsite formaldehyde was coming from a combustion source nearby and I said well the power plant is near and he said that must be the source. It was a very frustrating night-not all that informative as I tried to weed out the industry hyped up answers-good crowd to be on the look out for such. I enjoyed in a sick kinda way telling him about the dead fish in Lake Arlington …a writer on another blog said "Of course it MUST be hot water….because methane leaking from the drilling under the lake would be bad…right?"
kim Feil says
update..if Ed Ireland wants to think the offsite sources contributed to the high formaldehyde in 2010…don’t look to the power plant cause here is some info on how they have clean-up… http://barnettshalehell.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/formaldehyde-just-wont-go-away-in-barnett-shale-hell/
HANDLEY POWER PLANT HUGE IMPROVEMENT in……
YEAR SO2 NOX
1997 33 tons 4,774 tons
1998 12 tons 4,871 tons
1999 13 tons 3,301 tons
2000 141 tons 3,684 tons
2001 48 tons 2,005 tons
2002 8 tons 2,022 tons
2003 10 tons 937 tons
2004 4 tons 211 tons
2005 3 tons 61 tons
2006 3 tons 59 tons
2007 2 tons 21 tons
2008 2 tons 29 tons
2009 2 tons 39 tons
2010 1 tons 46 tons
2011 3 tons 56 tons
I’m thinking they were enjoying a blowdown event and forgot that Titan was to be air testing or that they had an unplanned emission event while Titan was air testing…open records oughta uncover that? we’ll see.
It’s from the combustion onsite and is part of the typical operating.
I thought it was a super meeting.
1. I cannot recall another time when BSEEC appeared when there was an opposing view.
2. The toxicologist could not conceal her disdain for us peons. She was arrogant and condescending.
3. Ed knows nothing about the drilling process. After you get past:
– Heat your homes
– Free money
He is lost. I thought that was funny.
I found it quite informative. How about the fact that huge holes were blown in the rhetoric about the Titan study which is forever discredited and they didn't even attempt to dispute or cover for it?
It was interesting that they panel ended up being 3 to 1 with Wilma the only one for regulating drilling to protect public health. Thankfully Deborah Rogers did jump in on a few questions.
I thought it was funny that someone asked if OGAP was a registered lobbyist and they asked Dr. Colborn who has no affiliation with OGAP. Geez, I wonder where that came from. Could it have been the CHK guy, ya think?
can titan be sued now because they downplayed the formaldehyde?
Tim Ruggiero says
I don't think they can be sued- but one could make quite a bit of hay out of the fact that they were less than fully truthful (I know, a real shocker) once again.
What's laughable to me is that Titan's reponse to my question of how much notice did the operators get to the testing – 3-4 weeks notice. But the reason was that the operators were included in which sites were going to be tested, so that not informing them would be impossible.
Hey, jackass, I have an idea. Why don't you select the sites for testing that have the most loged complaints and just go ahead and do the damn testing without telling the operator anything. If you show up at a locked site, and there's no one there, and no contact information, then note that in your report and move on to the next site.
Titan Eng. exists to serve the industry in obtaining permits. Without industry, Titan Engineering would not exist. What can you expect?
The BSEEC team seemed totally lost. It was clear they had never been asked tough questions regarding this study. The toxicologist said absolutely nothing and seemed to feel really good about herself for it.
I heard Dr. Kester giving Libby Willis an earful about how the other scientists on the panel were "fearmongering". That Libby should not be letting this happen in Ft. Worth. Libby handled her brilliantly. I thought this was funny because Dr. Kester was the least credentialed scientist on the panel. She gave us absolutely no reason to believe her and her presentation was facile. On their website, they make such a big deal about her ability to explain difficult concepts. I was looking forward to her presentation but it was disappointing. Maybe they meant that she can explain these difficult topics to first graders because that was about the level of her presentation. It had absolutely no substance.
The engineer seemed put out that he had to retrieve some information. He tipped his chair over and made no attempt to right it. I got the impression that he was very upset.
In all, I walked away thinking that the BSEEC has substantially damaged their credibility with this study.
They didn't even mention the formaldehyde. I was stunned with the HARC conclusions. I guess Dr. Kester thought we might not be able to pronounce formaldehyde.
Once again the Barnett Shale residence have proven themselves to be formidable opponents.
The most feared thing for the industry must be a well educated audience.
I keep wondering when will BSEEC realize Mr. Ed is not an asset to their group. He looked like he just smelled a fart everytime he had to address a member of the audience last night. It was the first time I have seen him in a question and answer session and I was far from impressed.
I thought the meeting was interesting, and it was really very moving when members of the community were able to express their concerns.
I agree that the BSEEC team did not seem to have been prepared for the forum in which they were expected to operate; then again, I suspect they were instructed by the higher-ups to talk specifically about the study, and to ignore any other questions.
Dr. Kester's presentation did seem rather abbreviated, but consider that the first two speakers droned on and on, leaving her with only 15-20 minutes in which to present her slides, before the moderator instructed her to stop.
I noticed that some people took umbrage with the way she answered questions, but you have to give her this: she was honest. When one woman asked about her daughter's migraines, instead of trying to make something up or falsely pacify her, Dr. Kester merely said that she was not a medical doctor, had not reviewed the little girl's history, and therefore could not possibly dispense medical advice.
We need to be wary of what BOTH sides are telling us, and constantly asking "cui bono"? The environmentalist movement has, in fact, a rich history of fear-mongering, who will exploit panicked populations and reap the profits from the sham lawsuits that follow.
Natural gas drilling definitely needs to be regulated, and we need to fight for full disclosure from BSEEC, but we should also realize that natural gas is going to become an increasingly important energy source as oil reserves dwindle, and as long as it can be conducted in a safe and transparent manner, it is by no means a bad thing.
While I agree that the question was one that was best asked of the child's pediatrician, I have to say that Dr. Kester made no effort to empathize or explain other possibilities. She seemed a totally cold fish. I would not have referred to her response as "honest". She did not even try to respond. The black woman in the back gave a good answer and diffused the situation. Dr. Kester could have just as easily done that but she did not. In fact, the word I would use to describe Dr. Kester is disdainful.
As to this notion of natural gas replacing oil, that is ludicrous and just a lot of pie in the sky PR rhetoric. The infrastructure is not in place in this country or any other major energy consuming country to substitute nat gas in a meaningful way. This is just more smoke and mirrors.