EARTHWORKS, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the harmful effects of mineral development, has just released the results of air quality testing done around drilling sites in DISH, and Flower Mound, TX and the picture ain’t pretty. According to their May 4 release: “the gas drilling industry is polluting the air of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan region with toxic emissions in excess of state limits. A team of environmental scientists who conducted independent air quality tests in March 2010 released the results. Preliminary results released immediately after the March tests, now corroborated, showed alarming levels of toxic chemical and greenhouse gas emissions that threaten human health and the environment.”

Among other things, the testing indicated that levels of methane were very high at all sites tested, and that “In addition to methane, fifteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in the air in association with the methane emissions downwind from the DISH Compressor Station Complex during the undercover testing in March. VOCs are organic chemical compounds which have significant vapor pressures and which can affect the environment and human health. The levels of Carbon Disulfide, Dimethyl Disulfide, Methylethyl Disulfide, Benzene, m&p-Xylene exceeded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) standards.

“The team also measured emissions at two locations in Flower Mound, Texas. Five VOCs were detected at Scenic Road and seven at the Williams Tank Farm. The Scenic Road Carbon Disulfide emissions were in excess of TCEQ levels and the Williams location showed Benzene and Toluene, known carcinogens, along with other VOCs.”


The tests were conducted by EARTHWORKS in conjunction with the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project.