Mickey Leland Barnett Shale air study did NOT capture flowback phase

I was referred to look at this study by a Devon industry rep who was kind enough to try to answer some of my concerns for Urban Drilling.

In this shopping list of air studies, I was able to access a Barnett Shale air study …

Note in  my video attempt to contact Dr. Barbara Zielinska


My question was if any air testing occurred during the flowback phase.

“Approximately 24 well sites were surveyed in the areas surrounding the cities of Rhome, Decatur, Aurora, Boyd, New Fairview, Alvord, Bridgeport, Runaway Bay, Chico, Paradise, and Allison. We also made measurements near the fence lines of gas compression or processing plants near Rhome, Chico, Bridgeport, Allison, and New Fairview. Although there were several active fracturing operations in the area we were unable to get closer than 200 to 300 m from the drill pads. Access to downwind locations was unavailable”.

Here are some select items from that report that I boldfaced for emphasis…

“The study, which was preliminary in nature, found that the most abundant non-methane volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the condensate tank adjacent to gas wells were ethane, propane, n-butane, iso-butane, iso-pentane, and n-pentane. Aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene, toluene, and xylenes, were much less abundant and accounted for approximately 0.1%-0.2% of non-methane VOC emissions. There was a steep, exponential decrease in emissions concentrations from the site closest to an emissions source (approximately 17 meters from the condensate tank) to the next downwind site (approximately 67 meters from the tank). The concentration of emissions from the tank decreased to near background concentrations at a distance of approximately 100 meters. Source apportionment of VOCs in Shale Creek, a downwind residential community, was evaluated using chemical mass balance techniques. The dominant source categories for the sum of VOC were motor vehicle emissions (46% ± 14%) and combined natural gas and condensate tank emissions (43% ± 5%). For a specific VOC, the source contribution might differ. For example, 70% to 80% of benzene was attributed to fugitive emissions of natural gas. This study was brief and only examined one season (AprilMay), during which temperatures were not high and winds were mostly southeasterly. The conclusions drawn from this study should be considered tentative and need to be supported by a larger study or data from other studies covering all seasons and sites.”….

“Emissions can occur during various stages in the life of any single well and along various points of the production stream from extraction of raw gas at the well to distribution of commercial-grade natural gas at central gathering and processing plants. In addition to the release of raw gas from various pressure-relief valves, emissions from gas production operations include combustion emissions from compressors and diesel-powered trucks during well installation and removal of condensate from the well tanks. These variations are also accompanied by changes in the chemical and physical nature of the mixture of pollutants during transport in the atmosphere. Recognizing the need for additional data about emissions from gas production facilities in the Barnett Shale area and their impact on population exposures, the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center issued a request for proposal (RFP) in November 2009 for a short-term (seven NUATRC RESEARCH REPORT NO. 19 13 Barbara Zielinska et al months), focused study that would lead to a better understanding of the air toxic emissions in the area and the potential population exposures of residents in this area”…..

“Furthermore, ambient measurements at several randomly selected locations within such a large area (with numerous scattered points of emissions with potentially widely varying composition and rates of emissions) are unlikely to yield results that would be particularly useful for exposure assessment.“….

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: kim feil <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>
To: vince.white@dvn.com; darren.smith@dvn.com
Cc: cynthia.simmons@arlingtontx.gov; jimashford@sbcglobal.net; jim@bradburycounsel.com; lobdillj@att.net; robert.cluck@arlingtontx.gov; Robert Rivera <robert.rivera@arlingtontx.gov>; robert.shepard@arlingtontx.gov; jimmy.bennett@arlingtontx.gov; michael.glaspie@arlingtontx.gov; charlie.parker@arlingtontx.gov; lana.wolff@arlingtontx.gov; sheri.capehart@arlingtontx.gov; kathryn.wilemon@arlingtontx.gov; trey.yelverton@arlingtontx.gov; jim.parajon@arlingtontx.gov; collin.gregory@arlingtontx.gov
Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2012 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: The Mickey Leland Barnett Shale study….no flowback emssions info
FYI, again my point is that we do not have flowback air testing where it is needed…which is actually in the neighborhoods.
Yesterday I uploaded an audio on my blog of a conversation with a toxicologist that said the leukemias are showing up in the downwind (for us NW of the sites) from about 1,800-2,500 feet of the natural gas activities.
If you have any influence with any oil and gass associations who spend lots of money on commericals, if they would spend just a little money proving flowback is safe for the neighborhoods by paying for testing with an INDEPENDENT company…that would go a longer way in the PR world because that is more useful information to those concerned that are the squeaky wheels.
PS the flowback site for my gas wells is at the end of the year after the pipeline goes in on the Truman/Cowboy stadium wells.  I hope they also test for h2s cause I’m thinking that stale 3 month old water would have grown some man-made nasty stuff by then.

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Barbara Zielinska <Barbara.Zielinska@dri.edu>
To: kimfeil@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Thu, September 6, 2012 12:51:32 PM
Subject: Contact Email from DAS Web Site


Your question regarding Barnett Shale study was forwarded to me today.  Your question is:

Is there any emissions results from air studies in the Barnett Shale during flowback at receptor locations? ie in the neighborhoods? At what distance rate does BenZene dissapate under certain meterological conditions?

No, we didn’t do any monitoring during flowback conditions.  We couldn’t obtain a permit to enter any of the production areas.  All what we were able to do was fence-line monitoring.  Here is a link to our final report:


Best regards,


Kim Feil
From: kim feil <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>

To: vince.white@dvn.com; darren.smith@dvn.com
Sent: Thu, August 23, 2012 11:35:01 AM
Subject: The Mickey Leland Barnett Shale study….no flowback emssions info

While it was helpful to note that we should be at least 328feet away from condensate tanks to get back to ambient levels, again this study focused on post production emissions….darn.
It was also disturbing to read that the TCEQ testing they reference from 2009 said that 21 monitering sites exceeded the long term ESL of 1.41 ppb Benzene (even though short term samples were taken and it is not an accepted practice to take a short term sample and apply it to a long term Effect Screening Level), but if short term samples are all we have….it is logical to extropolate and get worried cause some of us live near post production activities   😦

Kim Feil

From: kim feil <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>
To: vince.white@dvn.com; darren.smith@dvn.com
Sent: Thu, August 23, 2012 9:52:59 AM
Subject: Re: Please forward to Dr Whitsitt please comment on when benzene goes up to 85 ppb during flowback in urban areas in our dry gas Barnett Shale….

Here is the editorial we spoke about on the ERG issues
My beef is that ERG doesn’t have neighborhood readings during flowback to see if and where fallout is occuring.
Did ERG test for opacity issues during fracking?
Why didn’t ERG study diesel rigs during drilling?
Based on the one mile set back recommendation for FT Worth schools,
and Dr Wolf saying testing too close to the fence line may not get at the fallout stuff, and the three year Colorado air study (wet/dry) saying flowback is the worst phase and those within 1/2 mile are at highest risk….I’m not happy with being so close to the fracking that starts tomorrow 2 blocks from my home near the Cowboy Stadium, but thanks for calling, and I’ll try to look at those sumas during flowback…I was told they only pointed the FLIR camera and said “yep looks like a normal flowback” and did not take readings.
And the fact that flowback worker, Dustin Bergsing, died from hydrocarbon oil well flowback in Colorado last Jan. doesn’t help either.
From: kim feil <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>
To: vince.white@dvn.com
Sent: Mon, August 13, 2012 10:32:15 AM
Subject: Please forward to Dr Whitsitt please comment on when benzene goes up to 85 ppb during flowback in urban areas in our dry gas Barnett Shale….

While Chesapeake is our main driller in Arlington TX and they will not answer any of my questions in AskChesapeake, I thought I’d give you a shot at giving me comforting reasons to not be afraid of them fracking in a couple of weeks near my home by the Cowboy Stadium without scrubbers on those open hatch tanks prior to the Green Completion.
Heck maybe you can help us accept urban drilling if we get these scrubbers….after all the price of NG will go back up and they will be back to finish the build out of the 55 padsites in our 99 sq mile town.  Will you help me convice some Arlington leaders that this would help the resistance here in making things safer for us?
Today I meet with Senator Davis’ staff to see if she will request an Attorney General’s opinion on my behalf to have a ruling on if the City of Arlington TX would find it appropriate to enforce their gas drilling ordinance in mandating emission controls (scrubbers) on the OPEN HATCH flowback tanks since this is URBAN drilling. 
This ruling may help pressure my City Manager in acting in the interest of doing his job AND being protective to public health. The dry gas in Colleville’s flowback emission test results had BENZENE readings of around 54ppb and as high as 85ppb and exceeds the two week ATSDR MRL threshold by six to nine times. Our Barnett Shale gas may be dry, but not Benzene free. Our highly publicized TCEQ Emission Inventory & Ft Worth ERG Air Studies only focused on post production, not pre production emissions.

Kim Feil

Here were the supporters listed on the webpage-the group no longer is a working entity as of 2011….

About Kim Triolo Feil

Since TX Statute 253.005 forbids drilling in heavily settled municipalities, I unsuccessfully ran for City Council Seat to try to enforce this. Since Urban Drilling, our drinking water has almost tripled for TTHM's. Before moving to Arlington in 1990, I lived in Norco’s “cancer alley”, a refinery town. It was only after Urban Drilling in Arlington did I start having health effects. After our drill site was established closest to my home, the chronic nosebleeds started. I know there are more canaries here in Arlington having reactions to our industrialized airshed (we have 55-60 padsites of gas wells). Come forward and report to me those having health issues especially if you live to the north/northwest of a drill site so I can map your health effects on this blog. My youtube account is KimFeilGood. FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. MATERIAL FROM DIVERSE AND SOMETIMES TEMPORARY SOURCES IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN A PERMANENT UNIFIED MANNER, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE (AMONG OTHER THINGS). IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS A 'FAIR USE' OF THE INFORMATION AS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 USC SECTION 107, THE SITE IS MAINTAINED WITHOUT PROFIT FOR THOSE WHO ACCESS IT FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/ TO USE MATERIAL REPRODUCED ON THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE', PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER INDICATED WITH A NAME AND INTERNET LINK AT THE END OF EACH ITEM. (NOTE: THE TEXT OF THIS NOTICE WAS ALSO LIFTED FROM CORRIDORNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM)
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