Air Pollution

Air pollution from fracking threatens the health of people living and working close to the wellhead, as well as those far away. Children, the elderly and those with respiratory diseases are especially at risk.

Fracking produces air pollution as the well is drilled and fracked and gas is vented or flared. Texas is responsible for 51% of all venting and flaring of natural gas in the United States, and Kelly will not consent to this practice unlike the current Railroad Commissioners who have not been denying these permits.

Emissions from trucks carrying water and materials to well sites, as well as from compressor stations and other fossil fuel-fired machinery, contribute to air pollution. Well operations, storage of gas liquids, and other activities related to fracking add to the pollution toll. The extent of the air pollution problem from fracking is not fully known. A 2014 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed inad- equate emissions monitoring by the state of Texas at the Eagle Ford Shale formation, where there are more than 7,000 completed oil and gas wells. The 20,000 square mile area has only five air mon- itors, all located on the formation’s fringes where emissions are much lower. The investigation also found that punishment is minimal to nonexistent for violations of emissions standards. Of 164 doc- umented violations between 2010 and November 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued fines in only two cases.

 

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