June 1st, 2011
Pollution from natural gas drilling is a key factor in North Texas’ continuing smog pollution problems, but the skies could be much cleaner if natural gas drilling companies would take a few simple steps, according to a citizens’ clean air group.
The 9-county area around Dallas and Fort Worth has struggled to meet the EPA’s clean air standards set for the region, despite warnings to improve air quality dating to the early 1990s. Now, even though pollution from cars and trucks has been reduced through better tailpipe technology, the region still fails to meet basic clean air benchmarks. The reason, clean air advocates say, is the natural gas industry.
Hundreds of drilling operations in the region release tons of methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide, as well as Volatile Organic Compounds, like benzene and formaldehyde, every day.