Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:37 AM
bigtree (67,006 posts)
EPA Inspector General: Agency Unequipped To Accurately Measure Pollution From Drilling/Fracking Boom
from the AP: http://www.ohio.com/blogs/drilling/ohio-utica-shale-1.291290/epa-inspector-general-questions-air-data-from-drilling-1.375722
Limited data and unreliable estimates on air pollution from oil and natural gas production is hindering the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency's internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday.
Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. said the EPA has failed to directly measure emissions from some pieces of equipment and processes, and some estimates it does have are of "questionable quality."
"With limited data, human health risks are uncertain, states may design incorrect or ineffective emission control strategies, and EPA's decisions about regulating industry may be misinformed," Elkins said.
The EPA, under President Barack Obama, has stepped up regulation of natural gas drilling, which has been booming thanks to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. About 25,000 wells a year are being fracked, a process in which water, chemicals and sand are injected at high pressure underground to release trapped natural gas.
President Obama also wants to expand natural gas production, (he says) as long as it doesn't damage the environment . . .
. . . question I have is, whether this IG report is a backdoor nod to the oil industry which is chafing under the Obama pollution restrictions and want to claim the government data is false and they're really complying; or, if this is just what the IG says, and the administration isn't really prepared or serious about monitoring this recent drilling 'boom?'
One thing, for sure, the industry is already saying 'I told you so' in response to this. They've been claiming for years that the government data is flawed (no surprise there, because of their own self-interest).
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