Monday, March 8, 2010

EARTHWORKS Press Release

'Stealth' Measurements of Air Quality Contradict Shale Gas Industry Claims of Safe Air
New technology finds huge methane plumes around shale gas drilling and processing facilities

Technology is new arrow in quiver of shale gas impacted communities nationwide

DISH, TX, 3/4 Yesterday a team of environmental scientists presented findings from a novel two day emissions gas detection project showing methane levels as much as 20 times above normal background levels in the air around several counties in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

"These findings raise troubling questions about shale gas industry pollution not only in Texas but for states nationwide where shale gas drilling and production is planned or underway," said Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS board member, environmental chemist and MacArthur grant recipient.

The results were collected over the past two days by an undercover team driving an unmarked white van around the metroplex to test a new measurement technology that enables drive-by emissions testing on shale gas drilling and pumping facilities -- without leaving the vehicle or slowing down from normal driving speeds.

Methane is a surrogate gas for benzene, xylene and other toxic and carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As a greenhouse gas that is roughly four-times more potent than CO2, methane is also a significant contributor to the ongoing climate crisis.

The results were presented to an overflow crowd at the DISH town hall where Mayor Calvin Tilman had called a special meeting to discuss the findings. DISH and other metroplex residents are concerned shale gas industry pollution are behind serious health problems in the area. More>>>