70% of FW Gas Sites Leak. Will Real World Make TCEQ Estimates Obsolete?

by jim on July 1, 2011

Maybe we missed this item the first time, because The Star-Telegram’s Mike Norman mentions it in passing as an old news item from last October in his most recent column, but apparently the firm performing the giant “Ft. Worth Study” of the city’s gas facilities “found leaks at 68 percent of the sites tested. They had expected 10 to 25 percent.”

The study is going “door-to-door,” examining 50% of all the gas sites in Ft. Worth. A conservative approach would be to extrapolate that 68% to all the Ft. Worth sites.

We’ve made note of the fact that the TCEQ estimated annual inventory of Volatile Organic Compounds from the Barnett Shale gas industry was increased monthly from July to this May, when it stood at a little over 114 tons PER DAY. We haven’t seen the numbers for June. Studies like this could result in the state having to significantly increase their estimates. Remember that fully 80 tons or more per day of that total was traced back by TCEQ to leaking valves and condensate tanks with estimated leakage rates far less than 68%.

Although Ft. Worth’s study was supposed to be released this last week, it looks like now it won’t come out until July 13th – the day before the TCEQ hearing on the proposed new DFW clean air plan. The largest flaw with the TCEQ plan? It doesn’t address the growing volume of gas industry VOCs in the DFW airshed.  

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