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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

If it is so safe, why do they refuse to report emissions?

Lawsuit targets shale drilling industry over emissions reporting

"Chemical plants, coal mines, power plants, steel mills and oil refineries, even the maple syrup industry, must disclose their releases of hazardous pollutants on the federal Toxic Release Inventory. But the rapidly expanding natural gas drilling industry isn’t required to do the same, even though it now releases more toxics into the air than any other industry except electric power plants, according to a coalition of environmental and open government organizations. Those nine organizations today filed a federal lawsuit seeking to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to close the decades old “loophole” and require drilling companies, hydraulic fracturing contractors and natural gas compressor stations and processing facilities to report their emissions, like other industries do. [...]

Mr. Kron said oil and gas development operations have expanded in size and scope over the last 15 years, and are now major emitters of toxic pollutants. “The oil and gas drilling industry with its directional drilling and fracking and compressor stations, wastewater impoundments and processing plants is a different industry than it was in 1997,” he said. “It didn’t have the big multi-well pads and the adjacent processing components. Many of its facilities could easily meet chemical reporting thresholds now.” According to the lawsuit, in 2012 the EPA estimated that the oil and gas extraction industry emitted at lease 127,000 tons of toxic air pollutants, including xylenes, hydrogen sulfide and benzene, a carcinogen."