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Barnett Shale air monitoring to be explained

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The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will host an open house this Saturday so residents can see first-hand the type of scientific instruments being used to monitor air quality in and around the Barnett Shale region, as well as see a tutorial on the new interactive map that allows people to see what sampling results have been collected near where they live and work. 

TCEQ will join representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Railroad Commission of Texas and the Department of State Health Services to help residents learn more about efforts underway to study the effects of oil and gas operations in the region.

The workshop, requested and coordinated by local legislators, will include:

– A demonstration of the agency’s new interactive air sampling map, which allows a person to see where the agency has conducted sampling and see what the laboratory results and health effects evaluations are for a given sample.

– A GasFind Infrared camera, an innovative technology that can remotely detect and visualize ozone precursor emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from stationary sources. The camera “sees” emissions invisible to the naked eye.

– A mobile monitoring van equipped to sample for a variety of different air pollutants.Several hand-held samplers that are used as screening tools to assess the need for further sampling, including a Toxic Vapor Analyzer (for organic compounds) and a Jerome Analyzer (for sulfur compounds).

– A canister sampler, used to collect air samples that are analyzed to a high degree of precision at the agency’s laboratory.

Staff will also be available to discuss many different topics, including: air toxics evaluations, air permitting rulemaking, emissions inventory actions, surface casing requirements, drinking water requirements, and local government/small business assistance.   

The meeting will be held this Saturday, Oct. 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the offices of the North Central Texas Council of Governments located at 616 Six Flags Drive in Arlington. The open house is free and open to the public.

For more information about agency efforts in the Barnett Shale, visit http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/implementation/barnettshale/bshale-main.

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