DEP seeks companies' emissions data

December 8, 2011 12:00 am

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Pennsylvania has asked 99 Marcellus Shale gas drilling and development companies to submit air pollution emissions information that will be used in a comprehensive three-year state inventory of air pollutants required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The companies must submit their reports to the state Department of Environmental Protection by March, which in turn will give them to the EPA by the end of the year. The 2012 data to the EPA will be the first to include an inventory of emissions from Marcellus Shale drilling, production and processing activities.

The DEP said the operators must submit emissions data for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, airborne particles or soot, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and total hazardous air pollutants.

The department notified the companies this week of the pollution inventory requirement, which covers companies involved in all phases of shale gas drilling, production, transmission, processing and related activities, and should include releases from drill rigs, compressor stations and dehydration units, and emissions from connectors; flanges; pump lines; pump seals and valves; heaters; pneumatic controllers and pumps; stationary engines; tanks; pressurized vessels and impoundments; venting and blow down systems; well heads; and well completions.

It's unclear if all companies working in the shale gas field have been collecting emissions data for all of those pollutants at all of those locations throughout the year. Katy Gresh, a DEP spokeswoman, said Marcellus Shale companies are "required to meet their permit limits, which requires measuring and tracking emissions."

Matt Pitzarella, a Range Resources spokesman, said the drilling company knows the emissions potential of diesel engines it uses in drilling processes and does routine air monitoring.

Michael Krancer, DEP secretary, said the emission inventory, which is submitted to the EPA every three years, is an important tool to use to ensure the maintenance of air quality and prevent deterioration.

Don Hopey: or 412-263-1983.
First Published 2012-02-09 15:14:52
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