Well you knew this one was coming. I’ve been working on a post about air quality for a few weeks but – just like our air quality – the issue changes from one day to the next. Remember that so-called air quality discussion at the October 15 BOCC meeting? If not, grab a shovel. You’ll need it to read this load of crap:
The EPA should have measured for high levels of methane in the room. A more accurate sub-head would’ve been: Guy who works for BOCC tells them what they want to hear.
I call this the Bert and Ernie approach to air quality. In the classic Bert and Ernie sketch “Fixing the Window”, everything is getting wet, because it’s raining and a window is stuck open. But Ernie explains that he can’t fix it now because he’d get wet in all that rain. When the rain stops, he explains to Bert that since it’s not raining anymore, nothing’s getting wet, and there’s no reason to fix it.
Paul Reaser (GarCo environmental health manager) said this:
Over the last four years, there have been days when emissions at some monitoring sites have exceeded EPA safe levels, Reaser said.
For example, ozone levels at the Rifle site exceeded EPA standards once in 2008 and once in 2012, while levels of particulate matter there exceeded EPA levels once in 2009. Levels of particulate matter at the Parachute station exceeded EPA safe levels once, in 2008.
Reaser gave 4 “examples.” He didn’t actually say exactly how many days total exceeded EPA safe levels. I don’t think this record is anything to brag about. And these guys are proud of the fact that Garfield County has 4 air quality monitoring stations and one mobile unit to cover almost 3,000 square miles. Compare and contrast. Look at the number of air quality monitoring stations on the front range and Grand Junction: Colorado Air Monitoring Sites.
But of course their discussion that day was an infomercial for the CSU Study, which the BOCC just finalized — one week before the election.
Martin said that there were “deficiencies” in the HIA’s conclusions, and that information on that topic is available on the county’s website, http://www.garfield-county.com.
The HIA was an analysis of existing information, whereas the CSU study is meant to establish baseline air quality data for later analysis, Gorgey explained.
“One was theory, the other is actual data,” Martin said.
So John Martin wants actual data. Okay. Here’s some data …
A news story by Ed Williams aired on KDNK on October 19: A Look at GarCo Gas Operator. (If you click on the link you can listen to the 5-minute newscast.)
Inspired by this newscast, I started googling. Look what I found.
Please note: “The list helps the EPA identify ‘recidivist and chronically noncomplying facilities whose violations have not been formally addressed by either the state or the EPA’.”
Rio Blanco County facilities on EPA watch list:
Enterprise Gas Processing –Meeker Gas Plant
ETC Canyon Pipeline – Greasewood
I found 3 more –
ETC Canyon Pipeline – Foundation Creek, Rangely, CO
ETC Canyon Pipeline – N. Douglas Creek
Exxonmobil Corp – Piceance Creek 57-19 – Meeker, CO
Current compliance status of Serious Violation(s):
Enterprise Gas-Piceance Dev. Project – Rifle, CO
(The address is listed as Rifle, but you can see from the map the location is north of Rifle in Rio Blanco County.)
Garfield County facilities on EPA watch list:
Enterprise Products Op- Jackrabbit Cs – Parachute, CO
ETC Canyon Pipeline – Rifle Boulton Station (7.1 miles SW of Silt, CO)
Oxy USA Wtp Lp – Conn Creek Gas – Parachute, CO
But wait, I found 4 more in Garfield County –
Wildhorse Energy Partners LLC – Rifle, CO
Williams Prod – Doe 9-17mv – Rifle, CO and their neighbor,
ETC Canyon Pipeline, LLC- Holmes Mesa Cs – Rifle, CO
Tri-state Generation & Trans.-rifle Stat – Rifle, CO (private company, generates electrical power from natural gas)
Silt update: In September Kirby Wynn told me via phone conversation that Paul Reaser (GarCo environmental health program manager) had been “tasked” to work with the town of Silt on the issue of air quality monitoring, including the different types of programs, costs, etc.
According to Silt Town Administrator Pam Woods: “Paul Reaser, Garfield County Environmental Health Manager, will attend the November 26, 2012 Board of Trustee meeting to discuss ambient air quality and national air quality standards.”
Doesn’t sound like a discussion about air quality monitoring. Sounds more like another sales pitch for their CSU Study. I’m no scientist but perhaps they should begin their study by looking at the companies who are currently in violation of the Clean Air Act.
So while we wait three years for the results of the CSU Study, here is what we already know is happening to us: Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields