STATE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL MONITORING IN BARNETT SHALE

August 23, 2010 · Filed Under Events and News, Urban Gas · Comments Off on STATE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL MONITORING IN BARNETT SHALE 

For Immediate Release Aug. 23, 2010

Media Contacts:
Janice McCoy
on behalf of Sen. Fraser
512-463-0124

Toni Barcellona
on behalf of Rep. Cook
512-463-0730

Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) and Representative Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) along with other members of the Texas Legislature and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief announced that the state will increase the air quality monitoring network in the Barnett Shale region.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) currently has seven automated gas chromatograph (AutoGC) monitors in operation in the Barnett Shale region.  These monitors  operate around the clock, measuring levels of more than 45 volatile organic compounds, including benzene. The emissions data collected from these monitors is used to evaluate current air quality conditions in the region and posted online.

Members of the Texas Legislature have directed the TCEQ to add an additional eight Auto GCs (for a total of 15 in the area) to monitor air quality in the Barnett Shale. They further directed the TCEQ to contract with a third-party to assist in the evaluation of the data.

“The Barnett Shale has been a great economic benefit for Texas and especially the Fort Worth region,” said Fraser. “However, with growth there are growing pains. In order to know how to protect the public, we must have enough information to put the correct safeguards in place.”

Cook remarked, “The additional air monitors will offer Texans greater transparency about the air quality in the Barnett Shale region because more scientific data will be available to the public, in real time,  via the TCEQ’s website.”

“We continue to work closely with its state partners to find solutions to the challenges associated with the production of natural gas in and around our communities,” said Mayor Moncrief. “With respect to the impact on our air quality, there are still too many unanswered questions. These additional monitors will only add to our understanding of this important issue and how it affects our residents. The people of Fort Worth appreciate the actions by Sen. Fraser, Rep. Cook and others who helped move this initiative forward.”

“As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, I want us to have all the information we need to create the best environmental policies,” said Fraser. “We can make positive changes without over burdening our residents and businesses financially.”

“The additional monitors will help businesses to quickly identify and address pollution sources, which will lead to improved air quality in the D/FW area,” Cook stated.  “As chairman of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation, my goal is to ensure citizens’ public health is protected without causing a financial hardship for the employees and families who depend on jobs from Texas’ energy sector.”

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SEN. TROY FRASER represents Senate District 24. He is Chairman of the Senate Committee Natural Resources.

REP. BYRON COOK represents House District 8. He is Chairman of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation.

EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING ON DRINKING WATER AND HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, JULY 8

July 1, 2010 · Filed Under Events and News, Urban Gas · Comments Off on EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING ON DRINKING WATER AND HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, JULY 8 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2010 

EPA Announces a Schedule of Public Meetings on Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting four public information meetings on the proposed study of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts on drinking water.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that helps production of natural gas or oil from shale and other geological formations. By pumping fracturing fluids (water and chemical additives) and sand or other similar materials into rock formations, fractures are created that allow natural gas or oil to flow from the rock through the fractures to a production well for extraction. The meetings will provide public information about the proposed study scope and design. EPA will solicit public comments on the draft study plan. 

The public meetings will be held on:    

*July 8 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. CDT at the Hilton Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas 
*July 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. MDT at the Marriot Tech Center’s Rocky Mountain Events Center in Denver, Colo. 
*July 22 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT at the Hilton Garden Inn in Canonsburg, Pa. 
*August 12 at the Anderson Performing Arts Center at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. for 3 sessions – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT
  
Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and hydraulic fracturing is one way of accessing this vital resource. However, serious concerns have been raised about hydraulic fracturing’s potential impact on drinking water, human health and the environment. To address these concerns, EPA announced in March that it will study the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on drinking water.

To support the initial planning phase and guide the development of the study plan, the agency sought suggestions and comments from the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB)-an independent, external federal advisory committee. The agency will use this advice and extensive stakeholder input to guide the design of the study.

Stakeholders are requested to pre-register for the meetings at least 72 hours before each meeting.
More information on the meetings: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/wells_hydrofrac.html

HEARING TO COLLECT FEEDBACK ON AIR QUALITY AROUND GAS WELLS, MAY 20

May 11, 2010 · Filed Under Events and News, Urban Gas · Comments Off on HEARING TO COLLECT FEEDBACK ON AIR QUALITY AROUND GAS WELLS, MAY 20 

Provide feedback to the City Council-appointed Air Quality Study Committee at a public hearing, set for 7 p.m. May 20 in the City Hall’s Council Chamber, 1000 Throckmorton St.

The Air Quality Study Committee has been tasked with developing study objectives to evaluate the impact of gas drilling on Fort Worth air quality. The committee, which includes liaisons from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, has developed a detailed scope of work and a request for qualifications (RFQ) to be advertised for submittals by firms with relevant expertise.

The committee also has developed criteria for evaluating the submissions. As a part of their work, the committee has been reviewing written and e-mailed comments from residents.

At the hearing, committee members will present information about the study’s scope of work and allow attendees to give their feedback, which will be considered before interviews or contract negotiations begin with qualified firms.

Resident feedback is important

The City and the committee are focused on meeting an aggressive timeline to allow air sampling in the hottest months of the year while incorporating public input into the final product.

The City issued an RFQ May 6 that includes the committee’s proposed scope of work. To address issues raised by the public, an addendum to the RFQ may be issued after the public hearing. Responding consultants will be required to incorporate the elements of the addendum into their responses.

A copy of the RFQ is available for download on the Air Quality Committee page. Copies will be available at the hearing.

Submit written comments on the documents to airqualitystudy@FortWorthGov.org, Call Rick Trice at 817-392-7959 if you have additional questions about the process.

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