By Dallas Business Journal

An industry-funded study of air quality near natural gas wells in Tarrant County found contaminants, but not at unhealthy levels. The survey, commissioned by the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, examined air quality at 10 sites Fort Worth and Arlington in June.

Conducted by Titan Engineering Inc., the study concludes that the sites it looked at arenâ¿¿t emitting harmful levels of air contaminants such as benzene. Benzene concentrations at a producing gas well at Mercer Ranch in Fort Worth exceeded screening values set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The amount of benzene found there was four times less than national standard for benzene levels.

Carbonyl sulfide at two other sites in Fort Worth exceeded TCEQ standards for odors, but not health impact. The two samples over the odor standard (55 parts per billion by volume) were at 69 and 130 parts per billion. The health impact standard set by the TCEQ for that compound is 1,800 parts per billion.

The TCEQ describes its standards as reference points far below unhealthy levels. The state agency is conducting its own study of air quality near gas wells in the Barnett Shale.

The Barnett Shale council has made the full 176-page report available on its website.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010