Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New 'stealth' air quality technology contradicts shale gas industry claims

MEDIA ADVISORY: March 3, 2010

Wilma Subra, 337-367-2216

New "Stealth" Measurements of Air Quality Contradict
Shale Gas Industry Claims of Safe Air

New technology finds huge methane plumes in DISH, TX's air

DISH Mayor calls press conference for evening of March 3rd to discuss results

Announcement of toxic results of new DISH,TX air quality survey using new "stealth" air quality measuring technology.

March 3rd, 2010
7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time

DISH, TX Town Hall

Presenters will include -
Calvin Tillman, Mayor of DISH, Texas
Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS board member; and,
Chris Rella, Picarro Inc, Director of Research


Yesterday, an undercover team drove an unmarked white van through the DISH (Tx.) area to test a new measurement technology that enables drive-by emissions testing of air quality around shale gas drilling and pumping facilities -- without leaving the vehicle or slowing down from normal driving speeds.

The team, which included noted environmental chemist and EARTHWORKS board member Wilma Subra, and environmental testing firm Wolf Eagle Environmental, used a new laser spectroscopic emissions detection technology to measure significantly elevated methane (4 ppm above background) and hydrogen sulfide gas emissions around DISH.

Methane is a indicator for benzene, xylene and other toxic and carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Affected DISH residents and local elected officials have expressed concerns that elevated levels of these VOCs from shale gas drilling operations in the Barnett Shale formation have caused serious health problems in the small Texas town. Hydrogen sulfide is another toxic gas that is a common by-product of sub-surface drilling and energy production activities. Hydrogen sulfide creates a distinctive “rotten-eggs” odor.

DISH Mayor Calvin Tillman has called a special meeting at the DISH Town Hall on March 3 at 7 p.m. for a discussion of the results. Ms. Subra, a winner of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, will brief town residents and other attendees on what these new results mean for DISH residents, and for residents and businesses in other areas affected by shale gas drilling. Also at the meeting, Picarro (the sampling technology manufacturer) director of research and development Chris Rella will provide Google Maps visualizations showing the emissions plumes and corresponding locations. The meeting is open to all.

EARTHWORKS works with communities in Texas and around the country to minimize the adverse impacts of energy development. EARTHWORKS has 29,000 members worldwide, and maintains offices in California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Texas and Washington, D.C.

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