Study: No "Significant Health Risks" From Natural Gas Emissions

Long-awaited study on Fort Worth's air quality released

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011  |  Updated 11:27 PM CDT
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FW Releases Air Quality Report

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Fort Worth says a long-awaited study of the impact of natural gas drilling on the city's air quality found no significant health threats.

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An air quality study of natural gas drilling sites in Fort Worth found no significant health threats, the city said Thursday.

The long-awaited study by Eastern Research Group Inc. looked at the impact of natural gas exploration and production on Fort Worth's air quality.

According to the study, emissions do not reach levels that cause adverse health effects, although five sites have emission rates that exceed regulatory thresholds.

Mayor Betsy Price said she was encouraged by the findings.

The study also said that Fort Worth's 600-foot setback distance is adequate for most of the sites. However, some gas production facilities, such as compress stations, may require additional review.

The emission rates of the five sites with high rates -- a processing facility, three compressor stations and a well pad -- are supposed to trigger certain permitting requirements, the report said.

The study's field testing began in August 2010 and included sampling at 388 gas wells and gas transportation sites. The study included " unannounced up-close point source testing, ambient air monitoring, air dispersion modeling, a public health evaluation, a regulatory assessment and full build-out estimates."

Eastern Research Group was hired by a committee made up residents, community groups, environmental groups and industry representatives.

More: Natural Gas Air Quality Study (Final Report)

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