After Mayor Tillman had private testing that conflicted with the TCEQ’s permanent air monitor, the TCEQ did more testing in DISH and found some pretty nasty stuff.
New toxins report released
TCEQ inspectors revisit Dish; elevated levels of formaldehyde found
Inspectors found formaldehyde in all of the places they sampled, both during the day and at night. Twelve samples were taken near natural gas production facilities. Six others were taken as “airshed” samples, to see how emissions were dispersing farther away from the equipment.
They found formaldehyde at 24 times normal levels! The TCEQ permanent monitors don’t monitor formaldehyde, other carbonyl compounds, sulfides (including the hydrogen sulfide we are not supposed to know exists) and many other nasty toxics. (You might remember that I’ve mentioned formaldehyde a few times lately. We have 2.5 times more formaldehyde in the Barnett Shale than the highest ever measured in the Houston Ship Channel.)
The permanent monitors are meant for monitoring smog and the EPA explained to Mayor Tillman that the permanent monitors have limitations including:
- It only collects for 15 hours (summa canisters can collect 24 hour samples)
- It analyzes the samples in a climate controlled trailer not out in the elements where people would be breathing it.
The EPA is required to control 187 air toxics “that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects.” But the TCEQ air monitors only monitor 46 air toxics.
Here is a bit of gas trivia I received in an email tonight:
The cost of installing Vapor Recovery Units is less than 10% of the Gross National Product for ONE Parker County gas well according to 2007 data.
$211,000,000 Gross National Product in Parker County for 2007 (1)
1766 active gas wells (2)
$119,479 per well (2007) Average installed cost of Vapor Recovery Unit $11,000. (3)
1) Perryman economic study
2) Texas Railroad Commission
3) New York Times article: Curbing Emissions by Sealing Gas Leaks
Fugitive emissions occur at every stage of natural gas production which means there is an awful lot of methane in the air around natural gas facilities. Look what happens when methane, sunlight and oxygen mix:
Formaldehyde is produced in the atmosphere due to the degradation of methane by sunlight.