The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has released the results of its comprehensive air quality testing in the Barnett Shale. TCEQ investigators conducted tests at 94 monitoring sites in North Texas and found no problems at the vast majority of the locations, with only two monitoring sites requiring immediate action and another 19 which registered elevated levels of benzene but did not exceed the maximum level for the tests of 180parts per billion (ppb). Click here to read our oped in the Star-Telegram about this report.
This is good news for the residents of North Texas who continue to benefit from the Barnett Shale activity. TCEQ Chief Toxicologist Dr. Michael Honeycutt summarized the results by saying based on the test results, the commission believes there is "no need for widespread alarm" among North Texas residents since the vast majority of the monitors showed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to be within acceptable levels while the problems were relegated to only a few select locations."
The TCEQ also reported that the two cases of higher levels of emissions were quickly found by the operators and fixed. Follow up visits showed no emissions problems. These results clearly demonstrate natural gas industry's commitment to safety and responsible operating practices in the Barnett Shale region. This report confirms that the industry's vigilance in maintaining safe, environmentally sound operations in both rural and urban areas is working to protect North Texas residents.