May 1, 2015
On April 20, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the release of its 2013 air emissions inventory for the natural gas drilling industry that shows increases in several categories of contaminants. The data is required to be reported to DEP under Pennsylvania’s Air Pollution Control Act.
The inventory represents 2013 emissions from Marcellus Shale natural gas production and processing operations as well as compressor stations that receive gas from coal gas and conventional oil and gas well sites.
“The increases were not unexpected,” Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “The industry is growing, and each year we are expanding the types and number of facilities from which we collect data so that we have a more comprehensive understanding of air quality issues.” In 2013, the number of well sites included in the emissions inventory increased by 18.3 percent. The number of midstream facilities that submitted data increased by 8.2 percent.
The 2013 data show the following difference from 2012 levels:
- Sulfur dioxide – 57 percent increase
- Volatile Organic Compounds – 19 percent increase
- Particulate matter – 12 percent increase
- Nitrogen oxides — 8 percent increase
- Methane – 13 percent decrease
- Carbon monoxide – 10 percent decrease
DEP began collecting emissions data from owners and operators of unconventional natural gas sources in 2011. For 2012, DEP expanded the data reporting requirement to include mid-stream compressor stations that support the conventional natural gas industry. DEP again expanded the reporting requirements in 2013 to include data from mid-stream compressor stations that support coal-bed methane formations.
In addition to compressor stations, other sources and activities of natural gas operations that DEP identified as part of the inventory include dehydration units; drill rigs; fugitives, such as connectors, flanges, pump lines, pump seals and valves; heaters; pneumatic controllers and pumps; stationary engines; tanks, pressurized vessels and impoundments; venting and blow down systems; well heads and well completions.
To view the complete emissions inventory summarized by company, source category, county and well farm, click the “Air Emissions Inventory” button at DEP’s Web site.
What this means to you
An increase in Marcellus Shale drilling activity combined with expanded reporting of compressor station emissions means Pennsylvania’s emissions inventory increased between 10 to 57 percent in six pollutant categories from 2012-2013.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn more about emission control solutions for engines used in gas compression.