Monday, November 23, 2009

Texas officials politely asks barnett shale gas companies not to kill too many people

Interesting article from D Magazine about TCEQ and the Oil & Gas Industry. It is time to stop handling this industry with kid gloves! The TCEQ "find it and fix it" policy is outrageous. How do you find it without testing for it? How many towns and private citizens can afford to do testing? This type of toxic air is invisible so how do we know when it exists? How can the TCEQ possibly get around to testing all gas well sites in the Barnett Shale?

Here is a simple way to take care of this problem. Demand better emission standards now!!! Make the Oil & Gas Industry accountable. No more exemptions from the clean air and clean water act. Higher fines when they are in violation. Even better...shut them down when in violation. They will clean up their act real fast when the rigs stop.
Here are a few paragraphs from the D Magazine story
Tests show some wells are emiting benzene, a carinogen whose “long-term effects” are highly dangerous.

The Commission has known about these emissions since 2007 but forgot to share its test results with the Legislature or the Fort Worth City Council. I can understand why. The elected officials might have gotten a little upset, and in Texas we don’t want people to get upset, especially with the oil and gas industry. (It goes without saying that all three members of the Commission are Rick Perry appointees.)

A article from the Star Telegram mentions how high the toxic air levels have been at some well sites. One sample taken 7 miles from Dish, showed a high level. How bad do you think the air is when a well site is 300 feet, 500 feet or a 1000 feet from a home, school, or park?
the below paragraphs are from the Star Telegram story
In August and October, the commission monitored well sites with infrared cameras and found hydrocarbon vapors coming from the hatches and valves on storage tanks and from vents on compressor stations, said Keith Sheedy, a commission engineer.

One sample taken downwind from a tank seven miles west of DISH showed a level of 1,000 parts per billion, which is more than five times the commission’s short-term exposure limit of 180 parts per billion.

That level is the equivalent of a person sniffing a can of gasoline, and it shows the need for more tests, including long-term sampling,

video of fugitive emissions billowing from storage tanks.

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