Air emissions study under consideration by Garfield County commissioners
August 20, 2012
Following the presentation of a CSU proposed nearly $1.76 million air quality study August 20, Garfield County Commissioners directed county staff to prepare the terms of an intergovernmental agreement for consideration at a meeting in October 2012. Gas industry operators have preliminarily agreed to provide approximately $800,000 in matching funds for the study. The county’s contribution, of which terms will now be determined for consideration by the Garfield County Commissioners, would come from the oil and gas mitigation fund.
Colorado State University presentation materials
August 17, 2012
Proposal for data gathering on air emissions in Garfield County to be presented to commissioners
Glenwood Springs, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will hear a proposal Monday on a Colorado State University (CSU) scientific study to gather air emissions data surrounding natural gas extraction operations in Garfield County. The commissioners requested data collection by an independent researcher to offer the community scientific data surrounding the impacts of drilling near residential communities. CSU, in collaboration with Air Resource Specialists, Inc., will propose the study as the sixth item on the afternoon agenda in the 1 pm meeting of the BOCC August 20 in the County Administration Building at 108 8th Street, Glenwood Springs.
Garfield County contacted Dr. Jeff Collett, a research expert in the fields of atmospheric chemistry and air quality monitoring at CSU, following the BOCC’s determination that a need exists to fill data gaps on emissions surrounding well pad activities.
“Through our previous study efforts to quantify environmental and public health issues, Garfield County has identified energy industry air emission data gaps for our area and the nation as a whole,” said Kirby Wynn, Garfield County oil and gas liaison. “The proposed study, if implemented, can begin providing important well-pad air emissions data that are needed to understand, and then address, air quality issues relative to industrial activities in the county.”
Garfield County requested a proposal on a new air emissions study from Colorado State to fill critical gaps in available data and scientific study that were identified in the county’s Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment and Environmental Health Environmental and Health Monitoring Study Design reports.
“Air emissions from natural gas operations are not well characterized, so our goal is to quantify emissions of chemical compounds during operations and characterize how these compounds are dispersed in the atmosphere,” said Dr. Collett, principal investigator on the project and chair of the Atmospheric Sciences department at Colorado State.
His proposed study team includes Jay Ham, a professor in CSU’s Soil and Crop Sciences department, Joe Adlhoch, president of Air Resource Specialists Inc., and Mark Tigges, project manager of Air Resource Specialists.
The study team will be advised by a diverse panel of air quality experts. This panel includes representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, industry scientists and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Also assisting are CSU graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
“In order to better understand air quality associated with oil and gas development, it is essential that we take this important next step of collecting high-quality air quality data near oil and gas development activities,” said Paul Reaser, Garfield County environmental health manager. “This new data will undoubtedly fully complement the existing air quality monitoring efforts that this county has been fully committed to for several years now.”
Garfield County commissioners may consider terms of an intergovernmental agreement with CSU at a BOCC meeting this fall.
Regular Garfield County Board of County Commissioner meetings held in Glenwood Springs are streamed online, along with their agendas at www.garfield-county.com/board-commissioners/meetings. Video archives of meetings, agendas, documents related to the meetings and minutes are also posted at this address.Air emissions study