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View Diary: NOAA Investigation Finds Massive Methane Emissions from Utah Fracking: 6% to 12% Lost to Atmosphere (100 comments)

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  •  Correction...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, StrayCat

    There are no ambient air quality standards for METHANE  in the atmosphere

    •  Ozone is the problem. (0+ / 0-)

      Hydrocarbon oxidation caused the ozone problem. The hydrocarbons came primarily from the gas production.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:20:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  paper (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming
        from Arctic methane emissions

      •  Ozone is one problem (0+ / 0-)

        but the ozone problem is not likely being caused by the methane emissions, since methane is not considered photochemically reactive for ozone formation by most air pollution control agencies in the United States.   Moreover, methane is excluded from the definition of a volatile organic compound by EPA rules.

        The ozone problem in the Uintah Basin likely comes from non-methane hydrocarbon emitted from the same or similar sources that emit the methane.

        Those non-methane hydrocarbon which are defined by EPA as VOCs when simultaneously in the presence of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and UV radiation form ozone and other photochemical oxidants.

        It is entirely possible that Utah is allowing practices, like production tanks for natural gas condensate with uncontrolled vents, which could cause very heavy emissions which are generally controlled elsewhere in other states.

    •  Well, there should be. Why are there (0+ / 0-)

      no standards and limits?

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:27:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No National Ambient Air Quality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Standards (NAAQS) have been published for methane under the Clean Air Act.  

        NAAQS are standards limiting exposure of the public to air contaminants at ground level outside facility fence lines.

        Primary NAAQS are health-related standards.  Secondary NAAQS are social welfare and property damage standards.

        Ambient methane exposures do not cause or pose a significant risk to human respiratory health.   As a result, there will never be a Primary NAAQS for methane.

        Whether a secondary NAAQS for methane is either required, provided for or allowable is a complex matter that is limited by available language in the Clean Air Act.

        •  Thanks for the info. I guess the legal (0+ / 0-)

          positivists have won the battle.  The war continues.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:01:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because there is no NAAQS for methane does (0+ / 0-)

            not mean that EPA has not addressed methane with technology-based emission standards.   For example, detection of methane and other volatile organic compounds is common in the refining and chemical process industries.....and that 'leak detection and repair' requirement is an emission limitation under the Clean Air Act.

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