State Rep. Lon Burnam is calling for a moratorium on permits issued by all cities and the Texas Railroad Commission until TCEQ completes it testing and monitoring of the air in North Texas.
Finally a politician with the guts to stand up to the oil and gas industry.
One state representative doesn't want to wait on the tests. State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, on Thursday called for a moratorium on permits issued by all cities and the Texas Railroad Commission for wells in the Barnett Shale. He wants the moratorium in place for a year beginning Jan. 1 or until TCEQ has completed its mobile monitoring project, analyzed and published the results and completed a review of air permitting requirements.Preliminary results have been extremely high in some areas tested.
Tests at one natural gas site found benzene at 1,100 parts per billion. Honeycutt said people can start experiencing dizziness and nausea at 180 parts per billion with short-term exposure.
At another site, the concentration was 15,000 parts per billion at the source of a leak. That level, however, would have been lower outside the property. The OSHA limits for short-term exposure to benzene among workers is 500 parts per billion.Chesapeake is claiming the gas drilling in Tarrant and Johnson counties doesn't contain liquid hydrocarbons, but the TCEQ has found benzene in these areas. Instead of coming up with excuses, just do it right. Why are some gas drilling companies fighting emission controls?
All we are asking is that gas drilling be done right and until that is a reality, don't do it at all!!!
Chesapeake Energy spokeswoman Jerri Robbins wrote in an e-mail that her company operates in areas of the Barnett Shale that don't contain liquid hydrocarbons that produce volatile organic compound emissions. She wrote that Tarrant and Johnson counties, where Chesapeake mostly drills, has what is called "dry gas."
TCEQ officials said that benzene is still found in "dry gas."