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Officials respond to methane report

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Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigators were in Flower Mound on Thursday after reports of high methane levels were released to the media by a private company conducting air samples near natural gas drilling sites.

The TCEQ team visited two sites and noted no immediate concerns; however, a canister air sample was taken in response to the media reports, according to Flower Mound officials in a press release distributed on Friday.

The agency also fielded several calls regarding the media coverage, but indicated that the callers stated that they were not smelling any gas or noticing any problems.

Flower Mound officials said they were neither involved with nor contacted about the tests and are not aware of the precise locations sampled or investigated other than the Scenic Road and FM 1171 area referenced in newspaper articles.

They went on to say that they contacted the regional TCEQ office to determine if there are set standards or applicable health limits established for methane and to confirm that TCEQ registered the concern for an investigation.

According to the town, the TCEQ representative indicated that there is not a federal or state limit for methane, and the 1.8 PPM level referenced in the article has been determined to be within the reasonable range for a background level of Methane.  Read the full press release here.

Flower Mound is currently exploring several air quality monitoring options, including regular odor checks, the purchase of a toxic vapor analyzer, the purchase of an infrared gas-imaging camera, the installation of a permanent air monitoring station, and the reporting of any irregularities to the TCEQ and the appropriate gas drilling company.

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