As the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) continues to scrutinize gas industry activities in the Barnett Shale of North Texas, the agency has launched an interactive website that allows the public to take a look, too.

The Barnett Shale viewer will be available 24 hours a day and will be continually updated with the most recent air monitoring results and toxicological analysis as the agency collects air samples in the region, TCEQ said.

"This new map can pinpoint down to discreet locations to provide the latest monitoring data and reports being filed by our investigators," said TCEQ Executive Director Mark Vickery. "The public needs access to this complex scientific data and we've developed a tool that is timely, meaningful and easily accessible."

The map was created at the request of state lawmakers and to give the public the ability to see data from hundreds of air samples taken in the Barnett Shale region. The map will be updated at least once per month, TCEQ said, and will include features such as:

At the map website there are specific instructions on how to use the map, as well as e-mail addresses to submit questions or comments. The map is configured to work best with Internet Explorer and Firefox Internet browsers, TCEQ said. Should the interactive map not work on a user's computer, or if they would prefer to obtain the information in a text format, the same information concerning sampling locations and results is available on a county level.

TCEQ recently said it would increase the number of air quality monitors it operates in the Barnett Shale (see Daily GPI, Aug. 24).

In other Barnett Shale news, TCEQ said it will hold an open house in the Barnett Shale area in October that will feature interactive displays and presentations where people can learn about specific regulatory activities in the area, such as air monitoring and permitting.

TCEQ also said it has completed the first phase of its special inventory project to determine the location, number and type of emissions sources located at upstream and midstream oil and gas operations in the Barnett Shale (see Daily GPI, May 3). The second phase will begin in early September and will require operators to supply data on actual emissions, emissions sources, proximity to nearest off-site receptor and existing authorizations, as well as other information, TCEQ said.

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