The EPA provided a document Friday to the Star-Telegram showing that emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Barnett Shale natural gas and oil operations helped it decide about Hood and Wise. Hood and Wise “have comparatively high emissions of NOx and VOC” in a 19-county North Texas area, the EPA said.
Regarding Wise County, the document said the proximity of its emissions to air monitors that show violations of federal standards “indicates that this county should be included in the nonattainment area. … The high growth in these emissions is due in large part to growth in emissions from Barnett Shale gas production development, but also due to growth in population.”
Big Gas Mafia says fracking doesn’t pollute water. EPA says it does.
Big Gas Mafia says shale gas improves air. EPA says it doesn’t.
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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Christine Ruggiero says
It’s about time. Anyone driving around in Wise County should notice the low lying “fog” that has been persistent for years now regardless of temperature of weather or time of day. What is the actual percentage of growth in this area?
All one has to do is look up Decatur Texas on Google earth and zoom out a little on Highway 380 between Decatur and Denton. Just pan out and follow the line of 380. All of those squares you see on this route are “natural” gas pad sites. Every pad site is permitted under Permit by Rule to emit 25 tons of VOCs a year. Wise County is riddled by this. It looks like a war zone.
Google earth provides a picture of the shocking reality of what has taken place in this County. Count up the number of sites you find and multiply it by 25 tons each per year.
It is sad because we continue to buy off on the statement that we have a job and our families are being fed. We would continue to have jobs and feed our families without this pollution, but we have to have a little faith. Is feeding your family worth the price of asthma, COPD, and various types of cancer? Water contamination? Whose testing?
Wise County is a big and beautiful County with the best people I have ever met. I wish we could have stayed.
It has lots of sunshine and lots of wind. Wind turbines do create noise (but not more than the compressor station near your home and far less the hazardous emissions.) As far as solar, there is a great opportunity here as well. But, the sight in the County is short and the people seem to be OK with the current air and water quality. Inhalers are common, but at least their bellies aren’t empty.
And apparently that is all that matters.
It is so frustrating to call in complaints of odors causing headaches, dizziness and nausea and to get the final report stating, “no violations found.” I am quite familiar with the routine. For your encouragement, Sharon, I’m going to e-mail you one investigation report in my neighborhood where TCEQ did find Chesapeake in an air quality violation.
To Jane above. Same thing happens to us here in Big Booger. TCEQ never finds anything wrong–and in the report, TCEQ gives the polluter one of those “You’re Clean” letters.
Stop Calling The TCEQ says
Instead, file the complaint ONLINE. When you call, the person who answers the phone just records what they think you said, not what you actually are reporting. If you file online on the TCEQ website, you can make a screen shot of your report and save that. Documentation, documentation, documentation, people. And a lot of persistence. You have to become a pain in the TCEQ’s ass, and they will eventually come around. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, remember?
Thanks for that recommendation. I will file the complaint online next time, as I’m sure there will be a next time.