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Texas Pipe Group Promises 'Prudent, Safe' Barnett Operations

The 33-member Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) said Wednesday member companies with operations in the DISH, TX, area are taking action to ensure there are "prudent and safe operations in place to protect both the environment and citizens in the Barnett Shale."

TPA said it had a "substantial interest" in the allegations regarding natural gas compression activities around DISH because several of its members operate facilities in the area, including Crosstex Energy Inc., Atmos Energy Corp., Chesapeake Energy Corp., Enbridge Inc. and Energy Transfer Partners LP.

Late last month DISH Mayor Calvin Tillman sent a letter to five of the gas operators asking them to cease operations to eliminate an odor at a gas compressor station (see NGI, Nov. 30a).

A preliminary report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is studying the ambient air quality of a 17-county region in the Barnett Shale area of North Texas, has found hydrocarbon vapors being emitted from hatches and storage tanks and from vents on gas compressor stations (see NGI, Nov. 30b).

Wastewater at some Barnett Shale drilling sites also has been found to contain several volatile organic compounds (VOC), including benzene.

"The TPA is engaged in a proactive dialogue with the TCEQ regarding the facilities near DISH," the association stated. "Member companies are currently working on studies that will give all parties full confidence that the facilities in DISH are operating according to regulatory standards and in a manner that does not pose a threat to public health. The primary objective is to obtain scientifically valid results that indicate the presence or absence of VOCs related to these facilities and their impact, if any, on public health."

TPA spokesperson Celina Romero said "due to some of the inaccuracies we saw in a previous study, the Texas Pipeline Association and member companies have taken a proactive stance to conduct further testing in order to obtain more accurate and complete information regarding DISH emissions." She did not detail what the inaccuracies were in the study nor what company or agency performed the previous study.

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