The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) this week published detailed reports of air monitoring surveys of the Permian Basin, a region that has seen an increase in air emissions and complaints from residents during the recent oil and gas boom.
This past winter, TCEQ deployed teams equipped with van-mounted air monitors to conduct surveys for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The objectives of the surveys were to measure H2S and SO2 in populated areas of the region and to assess potential locations for permanent stationary monitoring sites. The surveys focused on populated and publicly accessible areas near facilities with a history of emissions events or complaints.
“TCEQ strives to protect our state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development,” says Toby Baker, the agency’s Executive Director. “The Permian air surveys will not only pave the way to make life better for residents and workers of the area, but it will also help the oil and gas industry become more efficient and better stewards of the resources they are extracting.”
TCEQ also has been investigating facilities near areas identified in the surveys. In addition, the agency is pursuing plans to site three continuous stationary air monitors in locations identified from results of the surveys.