DMN Letter: Data ties drilling to poor air quality

DAG board member, Ed Soph’s letter to the editor was published in the Dallas Morning News

Data ties drilling to poor air quality

Re: “Change the EPA paradigm,” by Bryan Shaw, Monday Letters.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality chairman Bryan W. Shaw writes that “important scientific information” was left out of The Dallas Morning News story of April 8, “Industries, TCEQ fight study linking death, ozone — EPA considers tighter limits on major N. Texas pollutant.” Indeed, it was.

Questioning the TCEQ’s assumption that gas and oil well drilling have no effect on ozone production and that ozone levels, as mentioned by Shaw, have actually dropped, Dr. Mahdi Ahmadi of the University of North Texas downloaded over 15 years of the TCEQ’s ozone air monitoring data, more than 6.5 million data points of it.

The data reveals that air monitoring sites west of the D-FW metroplex near gas and oil production sites indicated smaller long-term trends in ozone reduction than sites farther from the wells on the east side of the metroplex.

The data also shows that D-FW now has increasing levels of “winter ozone” in the cooler months normally not associated with ozone formation. This, too, is attributed to gas and oil well operations.

There are deleterious long-term effects on our air quality from fossil fuel extraction both locally and regionally.

The TCEQ is, again, on the side of the polluting industry and not the people.

Ed Soph, Denton