Beginning in April of this year, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) has been collecting air quality data at a shale gas drilling site located near The Wilds in Muskingum County, Ohio. Ohio EPA is monitoring for particulate matter (PM), as well as hydrocarbons associated with gas drilling and methane, and will be monitoring air quality at this site for the next two years. On Friday, November 2 issued a press release indicating that its first four months of air quality data “remains clean.”
Specifically, Ohio EPA’s data revealed no violations of the federal PM2.5 standard, but on one occasion in June the amount of PM10 detected exceeded the federal threshold of 150 micrograms per cubic meter. The agency indicated that this data point ”may have been caused by construction of a nearby road that occurred at that time.”
In a related story, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality recently announced the results of its study of air quality near the Pavilion natural gas field. Their study, in which Wyoming DEQ collected air quality data continuously from January 2011 to March 2012, showed no problems with air quality.