Friday, February 12, 2010

It appears the natural gas industry is afraid of Mayor Tillman and the town of Dish

On the Dallas Morning News Texas Energy and Environment Blog today, this article posted.
Dish mayor puts fear of frack into natural gas industry.

This article contains a press release from the Energy In Depth, a oil and gas industry advocacy group. It attacks Mayor Tillman, the residents of Dish, Wolf Eagle Environmental and the Oil and Gas Accountability Project. The EID asks questions of Mayor Tillman. The questions were phrased with a bit of sarcasm. So we thought we may try to find answers to some of those questions.

EID asked Mayor Tillman if he had a chance to look at the recent air quality study. We found a few articles that mentioned the results for the 94 sites that were tested. The TCEQ testing found that 1 in 5 sites they tested, had benzene levels above the commissions benchmark for long-term health concerns. Two sites west of Dish (which we know Mayor Tillman is "aware of") were so high the State took action immediately. This paragraph is from a
News 8 report

Benzene levels above the commission's benchmark for long-term health concerns, which address levels breathed for years, were found on the northwest edge of Fort Worth, in Justin, Springtown, White Settlement, the Cresson/Godley area, Bridgeport, and Arlington. The Arlington site was near an oil rig

And a paragraph from the Star Telegram on the TCEQ testing

Benzene levels exceeded the recommended safe levels at 21 of 94 sites, the agency said.
One company has already made repairs at a site where the benzene level measured 1,100 parts per billion, hundreds of times above the state and federal standard of 1.4 parts per billion.

EID asked if Mayor Tillman was aware that the TCEQ conducted an internal review of this study and found that "it is not possible" to draw the types of conclusions that appear in that report. We couldn't find where TCEQ said that but we found this on the TCEQ website

A review of the health effects of air monitoring data collected by a third party for the town of Dish, Texas.

The TCEQ’s Toxicology Division reviewed the ambient air monitoring analysis conducted by Wolf Eagle Environmental Engineers and Consultants for the town of Dish, Texas. Air monitoring was conducted to characterize the ambient air quality adjacent to several natural gas compression stations in and around Dish.

The highest potential one-hour maximum benzene concentration is below the health effects level observed in short-term animal and human studies; however, it is possible that adverse health effects could occur from exposure to this concentration. It was not possible to determine if residents were exposed to this concentration of benzene based on the information provided.

The TCEQ’s Toxicology Division is concerned that the monitored concentrations of benzene at several of the sampling locations could pose a long-term health risk to residents in the area if the concentrations are representative of normal and prolonged ambient conditions.

Several monitored and potential one-hour maximum concentrations of target compounds and tentatively identified compounds could have resulted in odorous conditions. Persistent or recurrent exposure to levels that significantly exceed the odor threshold may cause odor-related effects such as headache and nausea. This is consistent with citizen reports of odors in the area.

The TCEQ’s Toxicology Division strongly recommends additional sampling in the area and possibly long term (at least one year) monitoring for VOC, NOx, ozone, including an Automatic Gas Chromatograph (AutoGC) monitoring station, to fully evaluate the long term ambient concentrations.

EID questioned Mayor Tillman about Wolf Eagle Environmental Alisa Rich's qualifications. Here is her info from the Wolf Eagle website. We are pretty sure it is because of her qualifications, the Town of Dish hired her to conduct the study.

An environmental scientist and doctoral candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering specializing in Industrial Air Pollution Control Technology Design, with expertise in research, data collection, monitoring and document review and analysis of the impact of airborne contaminants on the environment, the exposure risk to human health, and national security. Knowledgeable in epidemiology and risk assessment, fate and transport of environmental toxicants from land/water contamination with experience in toxic tort litigation

EID asked Mayor Tillman if he was aware that The Oil and Gas Accountability Project was formed to "fight natural gas exploration wherever, whenever and however it takes place?" We couldn't find where the OGAP has made that statement. We did find that the OGAP is all about reform and better drilling practices as stated on their website. OGAP has had many successes in areas where gas drilling is still going on but with better regulations. We could not find one bit of evidence they funded a "second study of a similar type" in Dish.

OGAP is a resource for citizens and communities that are dealing with oil and gas development. OGAP's multi-tiered approach involves people who are directly affected by the impacts of oil and gas development in working for strong reforms and better industry practices. We utilize media, public education and community organizing in our efforts to change the way oil and gas development occurs in North America.
OGAP coordinates two main program areas: Public Health and Toxics, and Regulatory and Governmental Reform.

This next question the EID asked Mayor Tillman has to be the one that made us say WTF!

"But did you know that the mere act of filling up your tank with a conventional gas pump (one without a vapor recovery device) could expose you to benzene levels of 11,000 parts per billion (ppb), according to TCEQ -- without any ambient air to dilute it?"

Hmm, a conventional gas pump, one without a vapor recovery device. Very few of those around in North Texas. Mr. EID did you mean... kinda like a compressor station without a vapor recovery device? Because you'll find plenty of those in the Barnett Shale! We know Mayor Tillman and the Town of Dish know all about this.

Txsharon addresses these questions too. Click here.


Anonymous said...

Seriously, the industry is spending way too much time worrying about Tillman and Dish. Wouldn't it take less time and money just to make the changes to drilling practices. Does the industry think that picking on a town of barely 200 residents going to shut up those who are fed up with the Oil and Gas Industry? It just makes people more angry.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Alisha Rich has the right background. An environmental scientist! I think she knows what she is talking about.

Protect our future said...

The OGAP is a great organization. Their intent is not to shut any industry down. They have been very successful at changing legislation in States like New Mexico and Colorado. I am registered on their site and I received a e-mail today stating the following

"New Mexico is a bellwether for oil & gas drilling reform. After wrestling with irresponsible drilling companies - and their pollution -- for decades, the state enacted precedent-setting protections for water, wildlife, and landowners.

Those victories have influenced states across the country just as the natural gas boom has brought gas drilling to your state or a state upstream from you: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, West Virginia and more"
Go OGAP!!! Can't wait for you to get started here in Texas. How much money do you need? Sign me up.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that this site is praising Mrs. Rich. When she was on the O and G Board here in FM she voted "yes" for the Riverwalk wells and this site crucified her for it.

Another Concerned Citizen said...

We also remember sitting at those meetings with many Shiloh residents that were against drilling. In fact they spoke out against it during public participation.

It seems everyone is entitled to change their point a view. Even us.

Anonymous said...

That just shows that Mrs. Rich is clearly impartial and her test results in DISH CAN be trusted. We can disagree with any individual DECISION, not the person as a whole, geez.