Here’s a good idea that everyone can embrace: Measure air quality both before and after drilling near a local drill site. In this case, it’s not just any drill site–it’s the 9,000 acres surrounding the Pittsburgh Airport where CONSOL Energy is now ramping up to drill 47 Marcellus Shale wells on 6 well pads and install 17 miles of gathering pipelines (see CONSOL Energy Reveals Drilling Plan for Pittsburgh Airport). The Allegheny County Health Department announced they will conduct an air quality study at the airport before and after drilling.
What will they find? (It’s always fun to speculate!) We suspect…not much. Oh, there may be a temporary increase in some undesirable pollutants in the air from truck traffic (if they use diesel, increasingly natgas trucks are being used). However, since CONSOL will use electric motors to do all of the drilling and fracking at the airport property, most of the air pollution problems that come from drilling will be nonexistent (see CONSOL to Use Electric Motors for Drilling at Pittsburgh Airport). MDN will keep an eye on this interesting story. Here’s the article that talks about the Health Department’s plan to monitor air quality near the airport: