Casper Star Tribune – October 26, 2012
After more than a year of testing, a Wyoming state study found no air quality problems near Pavillion’s natural gas field.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported Friday that the Department of Environmental Quality used a monitoring station at two locations near the field owned by Encana Oil and Gas. It tested for nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and ozone.
The study, conducted from January 2011 to March 2012, found no contaminants exceeded standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Only ozone bumped up against the legal limit on one day last year.
A handful of residents questioned the findings at a meeting with agency officials late Wednesday. They asked whether the monitor’s locations may have affected the readings. Officials said they considered wind direction and topography, among other factors.
“The real difficulty is there’s no such thing as a perfect space,” said Kirk Billings, an air quality analyst. “That’s just the nature of the beast.”
Colorado’s Front Range, an area of intense oil and gas development, hasn’t met EPA standards for ozone pollution during summer. A similar problem occurs in gas fields in western Wyoming and eastern Utah in winter, when bright sunshine, temperature inversions and snow help stimulate ozone formation