A TCEQ investigator once told me that the percentage of Benzene in the Barnett Shale air is less than half of a percent. The problem with the TCEQ and ERG’s first glance equipment called the TVA (Toxic Vapor Analyzer) is that it is not sensitive enough. For example the long term TCEQ ESL for benzene is 1.41ppb, yet the TVA doesn’t start registering hydrocarbons until 200 or 500 ppb (I got two different answers from two different TCEQ reps as to when those TVA start registering hydrocarbons).
The BSEEC “Titan Air Study” may have captured an emission or “blow down” event at LakeArlington’s Compressor Station the summer of 2010. I hope it was an anomaly because those were extremely high formaldehyde readings (worse than the Houston Shipyard). It is worth noting that I “did” bury a church friend (who trained nurses) last Nov. from a fast acting bone cancer and she lived down wind from that compressor station.
Last last month (and as of a complaint just yesterday), DWG (DalworthingtonGardens) is having emission events at their compression station. On a previous blog I posted that TCEQ recorded almost 123,000 ppb VOC’s/hydrocarbons on the hand held TVA. The investigator himself suffered health effects and I advised him to immediately get BTEX tested.
The emission event at DWG shows that these “other” emission EVENTS that ERG did NOT figure in their study “DO” happen (like the two offline drill sites spewing after a storm last April in Arlington and in DWG).
The DWG Compressor Station “stuck-open dump valve” emission event may have violated the designated (ESL’s) Effect Screening Levels of short term benzene exposure by almost 11 times over! And for HAP’s (Hazardous Air Pollutants), I calculated those to be around 2,458 ppb (based on ERG saying the Barnett Shale has a 2% average HAP’s).
Since ERG used TVA’s probably for all 388 sites (they also used Hi Flo meters-but I haven’t researched them); any of these sites could have been exceeding the long term Benzene ESL (keep walking nothing to see here) if other more sensitive equipment like a suma canister was not used.
The spec sheet on a manufactures TVA 1000B model (which is probably what ERG and TCEQ uses) showed the minimal dectection limit for Benzene starts at 100 ppb …….. 100ppb? holy shut the front door! …..the TCEQ short term ESL (Effect Screening Level) threshold for Benzene is 54 ppb! TVA’s R NOT SENSITIVE ENOUGH! This could mean the TVA’s don’t pick up harmful Benzene readings until is goes two times past the TCEQ short term ESL!
The parts per million equipment that firemen use is also not sensitive enough (it should be in parts per billion)…sure they’ll know if the scene they are at has “explosive” high methane levels…but they may be sending their first responders in an area and not know how much Benzene they are breathing…they need to know to evacuate the people living so close to these drill sites!! Remember Wilma Subra said the fallout for Benzene in her experience is like 2,000 feet!!!
On page 3-7 of the ERG study, the Infrared camera only sees when emissions are >10,000,000 (ten million) ppb. ERG said that the IR (infrared) camera did not detect ANY emissions at 96 sites! So how many “other” sites did the IR cameras detected at least 10,000,000 ppb? ….at the other (292 ?) sites !!! HOLY COW CANCER! Take ten million times less than 1/2 of a percent (<.004 that TCEQ said is typically in the dry Barnett Shale gas…. to be fair unknown is the concentration of BTEX emissions) to estimate the Benzene…..that would be…drum roll please— at least 40,000 ppb Benzene detected at the sites that “registered” on the IR camera!
Per Attorney Bradbury on an Aug. 8 Star Telegram editorial called “Ft Worth Air Study Has Gaps”, said the IR camera registered on one production site (the only one studied), and yet no further testing was done…so can we say that all production sites have at least an average of 40,000ppb Benzene? The EPA claims the production phase to be the most methane losses phase…wow that really warms up the climate doesn’t it? The EPA also claims that methane losses are under reported by the industry by 9,000 times!!
As Texas Sharon recently said “…that thud was my jar dropping to the ground”. Ya think Governor Perry is or will be betting on (against) life insurance policies for Barnett Shale residents?