A limited study, of air quality near gas drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale show healthy signs for humans, animals and the environment.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection conducted the study over a period of four weeks in limited areas covering Susquehanna and Sullivan counties.
“This short-term study of air emissions at surveyed sites shows no emission levels that would constitute a concern to the health of residents living near these operations,” said Joyce Epps, director of the Bureau of Air Quality.
The tests centered on volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, and xylene, which is consistent with what one would find near natural gas drilling sites. In addition, the DEP sampled carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide near well-pads.
Using a mobile lab equipped with an infrared camera, DEP analysts determined that the smell some residents were complaining about is due to methyl mercaptan, which is a compound of methane, ethane, propane, and butane, and it is also consistent with what comes with drilling for natural gas.
According to the report DEP did not turn up any samples “that would likely trigger air-related health issues associated with Marcellus Shale drilling,” in the northeast region.
The study was conducted on six days during the months of August, September, and October.
(To read the DEP’s full analysis click on Rock The Capital.)
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