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The latest in air quality for the Barnett Shale


There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Barnett Shale as it relates to air quality from oil and gas activity in the area.  Flower Mound is one of the towns that have been sweep up in the fiasco and according to recent air quality tests they have nothing to worry about.  In January an independent environmental testing agency named Kleinfelder Central, Inc., out of San Diego, CA, collected air samples at several locations within the town.  This month they released the results of those tests and found, according to their Limited Ambient Air Evaluation report, that “Based on the results of the assessment, a limited number of VOCs [(Volatile Organic Compounds)] at concentrations just above detection limits but below short-term ESLs [(Effects Screening Levels – conservative screening values used for air permitting purposes)] were identified in the ambient air sample across Flower Mound.  In general, the observed concentrations appear to be consistent with published background ambient air concentrations observed in similar urban environments.”  What this means is that the air quality is no worse than similar urban environments.  The report then went on to say that in comparing their finds to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) “…it was noted that the observed carbon disulfide levels are unlikely to represent a health concern.”  So according to the TCEQ and this independent testing agency the town of Flower Mound can rest easy because the air quality in their town should not pose health concerns.

To learn more about Barnett Shale regulations visit the Barnett Shale Regulatory, Environmental Info folder.

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Anne Leonard

In January 2015, Anne Leonard headed the team that launched the latest addition to DrillingInfo’s international publications, International Scout Frontier North America which covers the US Gulf of Mexico as well as Maritime and Arctic Canada. She has been reporting on exploration and production for more than 30 years. She began her career in Denver covering the Rocky Mountain Region, and has spent the last 10 years covering the international arena, with a particular focus on Latin America, Africa, Western Europe and the Far East. Anne received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nebraska.