NPR's State Impact Blog Highlights Clean Air Council Quote from Mother Jones

 More On The EPA’s New Drilling Regulations

BY SCOTT DETROW

How will the EPA’s new nat­ural gas drilling reg­u­la­tions impact Penn­syl­va­nia? The Post-Gazette takes a look:
Ms. McCarthy said the flar­ing require­ment will cut emis­sions of smog-forming volatile organic com­pounds by up to 290,000 tons a year or 95 per­cent from the 13,000 wells that are fracked annu­ally. It is also designed to reduce emis­sions of ben­zene, a human car­cino­gen, by up to 20,000 tons a year.
When emissions-capturing tech­nol­ogy is fully imple­mented in 2015, it will reduce methane emis­sions by up to 1.7 mil­lion tons a year, off­set­ting equip­ment costs and result­ing in cost sav­ings of more than $9 mil­lion a year, she said.
 
“These stan­dards are prac­ti­cal, afford­able and achiev­able,” Ms. McCarthy said.
Almost 50 per­cent of fracked wells nation­wide already use equip­ment to cap­ture emis­sions dur­ing well-completion, she said, includ­ing all wells in Col­orado and Wyoming, states that require its use, as well as urban areas in Texas.
Left-leaning Mother Jones points out the new reg­u­la­tions 1) don’t go into effect until 2015, and 2) don’t directly limit green­house gasses:
The announce­ment has already excited many in the areas of Penn­syl­va­nia where frack­ing is a fact of daily life. “As a res­i­dent near a gas field, air pol­lu­tion is way scarier than water well con­t­a­m­i­na­tion,” said Susque­hanna County envi­ron­men­tal orga­nizer Rebecca Roter, refer­ring to the other major con­cern many locals have about frack­ing.
 
Matt Walker of Pennsylvania’s Clean Air Coun­cil stressed that while the rule is a boon for health con­cerns, fur­ther reg­u­la­tion was needed to curb the release of gases, like car­bon diox­ide and methane, that con­tribute to global warm­ing. “We need to keep push­ing,” he said. “We hope the EPA will set stan­dards for green­house gases in the future.”
 
Gina McCarthy of the EPA said the man­date would yeild a 90 per­cent reduc­tion in air pol­lu­tants released as a byprod­uct of the frack­ing process at some 13,000 gas wells nationwide.

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