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July 2012 Natural Gas Air Quality Study Update

As part of the Fort Worth Natural Gas Air Quality Study in 2010/2011, facility-level emission estimates developed for well pads, compressor stations, and natural gas processing and treatment plants were evaluated against various federal and state air quality regulatory thresholds and standards applicable to these types of facilities. The Final Report, issued in July 2011, identified sites that could require more than a Permit by Rule (PBR) based on the directly measured and estimated emissions at the sites. (See Table 6.4-1 in Section 6.0 of the Air Quality Study)

In 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) updated its Permit-By Rule for Oil and Gas Handling and Production Facilities (PBR), the primary regulatory mechanism applicable to natural gas well pads and compressor stations. The new requirements include more stringent control requirements and emission limits. Additionally, the new rules require a health effects demonstration using calculated emission limits based on effects screening levels (ESLs) for certain toxins and source specific characteristics. (See table 6.2-1 in Section 6.0 of the Air Quality Study).

Fort Worth’s Natural Gas Air Quality Study collected emissions data from all aspects of the gas drilling and production operations. This data was used to calculate site emissions, predict off-site emissions and directly measure ambient air concentrations. However, a detailed regulatory compliance audit of any individual facility or site was not included.

To that end, the TCEQ has conducted compliance investigations at several sites to determine if emission requirements are being met. Two of the sites operate under a PBR (lowest air permit) and two under a TCEQ Standard Permit for Oil and Gas Handling and Production Facilities. The TCEQ investigations took place in July and August 2011. No violations were found by TCEQ at any of the sites. Each PDF file contains the air authorization(s) and TCEQ compliance investigation report for the site.