Did WVDEP Ignore It’s Own Research on Shale Well Air Pollution?

The West Virginia Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act, passed and signed into law in December 2011, directed the WV Dept. of Environment Protection (WVDEP) to conduct three studies. The third and final study on air quality was released in June (see WVDEP Releases Study on Air Quality Impacts of Shale Drilling). The WVDEP said based on the data they received, no new regulations are required to control air pollution near drilling operations. However, a West Virginia University professor that oversaw the raw report given to the WVDEP disagrees with their assessment.

Dr. Michael McCawley, chairman of the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at WVU, said he thinks a 625-foot “setback” is not far enough (in some cases) and that air emissions from Marcellus and Utica shale drilling need more regulation…

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