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Clean Air Council Questions Marcellus Shale Emissions Inventory Plan

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Clean Air Council

After delaying compilation of a Marcellus Shale emissions inventory for a year, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requested the data necessary to compile a 2011 inventory by next December. DEP must submit a statewide inventory of emissions from all stationary sources to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by Dec. 31, 2012.

DEP notified potentially affected Marcellus Shale owners and operators of the new reporting requirements Dec. 6, 2011, and indicated that the data is due by March 1, 2012. While PA DEP reported that they notified 99 owners and operators, they counted each company up to four times for each address they sent the notification to and failed to send the reporting requirements to many large operators in the Marcellus Shale. According to state law, only those owners and operators who have been advised by DEP to submit a source report are required to do so.

The Clean Air Council submitted an inquiry Jan. 2 to DEP Secretary Michael Krancer requesting clarification on how DEP identified potentially affected owners and operators, and how they intend to meet the deadline for reporting to the EPA if the data is incomplete.

Emission inventories are fundamental building blocks used to develop air quality control strategies on a local, regional and national level. Emission inventories are also used to track accountability and assess air quality program effectiveness.

“Each stage of Marcellus Shale operations emits harmful air pollution and an emissions inventory is an essential tool to protect Pennsylvania’s air quality,” said Joseph Otis Minott, esq., executive director of the Clean Air Council. “It is unclear how PA DEP can impose monitoring and reporting requirements upon a portion of the Marcellus Shale industry at the end of 2011 and expect a complete inventory.”

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