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Air monitoring of VOCs during hydraulic fracturing operations in Washington County, Pennsylvania

Flaring can be one major source of unhealthy volatile organic compounds.

Flaring can be one major source of unhealthy volatile organic compounds.

According to the authors, the primary finding of this study was that the operation of a hydraulic fracturing well pad in Washington County did not substantially affect local air concentrations of total and individual volatile organic compounds.

Key findings:

  • The results of the continuous monitoring during fracturing and flaring sampling periods for total volatile organic compounds were similar to the results obtained during inactive periods.
  • Total volatile organic compound 24-hour average concentrations ranged between 0.16 and 80 ppb during all sampling periods.
  • Several individual volatile compounds were detected in the 24-hour samples, but they were consistent with background atmospheric levels measured previously at nearby sampling sites and in other areas in Washington County.
  • Furthermore, a basic yet conservative screening level evaluation demonstrated that the detected volatile organic compounds were well below health-protective levels.

Bibliography:
Maskrey JR, Insley AL, Hynds ES, Panko JM
Air monitoring of volatile organic compounds at relevant receptors during hydraulic fracturing operations in Washington County, Pennsylvania
Environ Monit Assess. 2016 Jul;188(7):410. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5410-4

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