Friday, March 5, 2010

The Town of Flower Mound Responds to Methane Mapping

Click here to read the town's response.

In the town's statement it mentions the following.

The 1.8 PPM “normal background level” of methane referenced in the article is not an established limit included in any of the previous studies conducted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

The TCEQ may not have an established limit but the EPA Measurement of Fugitive Emissions at Region 1 Landfill states that the global background methane concentration level is 1.75 ppm.

In the below paragraph from the town's response it mentions how methane can be emitted from other natural and man made sources.

The primary component of natural gas, Methane is a non-toxic compound emitted from natural and manmade sources including wastewater treatment plants, livestock operations, mobile combustion, landfills, and natural gas and fossil fuel production operations. Methane can displace oxygen, resulting in an oxygen-deficient environment in confined areas, but because it is lighter than air, Methane tends to rise in open environments.

In this EPA Chemical Descriptions, this talks about other sources of methane and typical levels ppm. The levels detected the other night here in Flower Mound were much higher than the levels listed below.

Typically levels are below 1 ppm, except near landfills and some wetlands. Along the perimeter of the ConocoPhillips-Rodeo refinery, levels at the north fenceline are usually slightly higher than at the south fenceline, but levels are usually below 2 ppm.

The paragraph below is an indication that someone is not being truthful.

The agency also fielded several calls regarding the story, but indicated the complainants stated that they were not smelling any gas or noticing any problems.

We know for a fact that the first complaint made Wednesday evening, was made because of odor. Indicating that some other chemical was present. Also, we have received e-mails from two other residents that complained to the TCEQ of odor. Methane does not have an odor but in recent tests in Dish, many toxins can accompany methane and they have odor and cause health problems. In fact, this post from txsharon talks about the Dish study and the recent methane mapping in Flower Mound.

In DISH when these chemicals were detected, the methane was 3 times the normal level at 5.9ppm. The methane in Flower Mound exceeded 40ppm on March 2nd and March 3rd. That's 6.7 times more methane than what was found in DISH.The methane is a concern not because it is toxic but because it is a potent greenhouse gas and the fact that methane is escaping means it is likely that other chemicals are also present.

There have been canister samples taken by the TCEQ, we will have to wait to see what the results are. We can only hope that the same thing that happened with the Town's "baseline" results does not happen with these air quality results. Rumor has it there were elevated levels of carbon disulfide in these tests. It appears a certain gas drilling company may have got a hold of them before the town did.


TXsharon said...

At the top levels of the TCEQ, then continue to make it all about the benzene. There are many other nasty chemicals including the carbon disulfide. Just ask Megan Collins about carbon disulfide.

Anonymous said...

I love it how the "town" responded, just like the "town" requested the ccf. It's never an individual, just the "town".

Very convenient. Where does the buck stop in Flower Mound?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! I sent another email to the mayor and council. This is inexcusable! Nice loop hole they found - they say there are no state or federal standards for methane - I said to them if there are not state standards then how do you know this level of methane is ok. I also reminded them this isn't just about the methane. I told them citizens are watching what they do or don't do and now and in the future we are holding them legally, ethically and morally accountable.

I used to love and be proud of this town. The response on the town website made me sick.

Anonymous said...

Beware, Mayor Smith is about to try to make it seem she cares when she doesn't. Never trust her, she will do and say anything to get re-elected and then after the elections she will turn back to her old ways.

Anonymous said...

No, I think many won't trust her. Unfortunatly there are some that will fall for whatever trick she tries. We need to try to keep educating this town about this issue! My response to Smith is actions speak louder then words. Nothing she says matters - it is what she does (or in this case isn't doing). I personally hope some day we can sue the pants of her.

Anonymous said...

Email I sent to mayor and council memebers below. We need to keep mailing to let them know this is not excusable and we don't buy the town's response on the town web site:

Mayor, These test results that have come to light this week do require a statement and action from you. Don't give me some line about "what testing" like you did about the petition. I live near where this was tested. I am concerned. Do you care or not about a potential severe health threat to the citizens of Flower Mound. What is your response to me privately and to the residents of Flower Mound publically. Looks real good that the mayor ignores such alarming findings.

I expect a response from you. Why do you think you are above responding to emails. I get responses from all sorts of government officials with jobs above yours!

You should be calling an emergency town council meeting to call a moratorium on all permits related to drilling. You should be contacting officials to let them know you are aware that Williams did not report (as they are required to by law) this event. This event by the way that has most likely been occurring for some time and still could be right now.

Anonymous said...

another email after the town stupid statement:

Here is a thought - if there are no state or federal standards regarding safe levels of methane how do you know 40 ppm is safe? You can do the research as well as I - the level of methane found in Flower Mound is alarming. It is not alarming because of the methane itself. That is where having no state standards is deceiving. A level such as the level found is alarming because methane carries the VOC's that are dangerous to health with it. So, methane by itself - there may not be a problem. But we are talking about gas well emissions and when there is methane - it is carrying with it all the other toxic chemicals. Once again, the "town" - or should I say mayor - is finding loop holes by responding about just the methane. You all know this test wasn't just about the methane discovered but about what methane brings with it.

Mr.. Wallace - please don't back down. Do the right thing and demand a town council meeting for Monday to call a moratorium.

Citizens of this town are watching you all. You are legally, ethically,and morally accountable to your actions (and nonactions) in responding to this. We will hold you accountable for your actions - this includes legally as well. I am tired of the actions of many of you (not of Mr. Filadoro or Mr. Hayden - you two make me proud).