CSU professors to study drilling emissions

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Colorado State University professors are getting ready to add to the debate about oil and gas exploration.

Researchers are going to propose a non-partisan, scientific study to examine air emissions from natural gas exploration in Garfield County.

The commissioners will hear about the planned three year study, which will provide a high-quality, peer reviewed assessment of air emissions and dispersion from well drilling, hydraulic fracturing and flowback.

The team will include professors from CSU and will also include members of Air Resource Specialists Inc.

The study team will be advised by air quality experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, industry scientists and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

A variety of chemicals can be released into the air as part of well development activities – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzen and zylene, along with a wide variety of other volatile hydrocarbons.

The team will provide periodic updates to the public during the study, but data will not be released until it’s completed in 2015.