Sublette Commissioners request more air quality monitoring
Write letter to Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality saying more monitoring is needed
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
April 22, 2008
The Sublette County Board of County Commissioners wrote a letter to John Corra, Director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, expressing their concerns in regards to what they feel is a lack of air quality monitoring efforts presently occurring in Sublette County. The letter was sent on Wednesday, April 16th. The Commission said they felt that present air quality monitoring efforts “do not provide adequate data to either identify or analyze possible air toxics associated with natural gas drilling and production, including chemicals from formation gas, chemicals which are likely to be emitted to ambient air, and any other air contaminants of concern, including ozone.”
In their letter, the Commissioners proposed a joint effort with DEQ to complete a health risk assessment, joining the voice of numerous citizens of Sublette County who have made a similar request recently of agencies involved with overseeing management of the Jonah Field and Pinedale Anticline natural gas drilling activity.
Below is a copy of the text of their letter. See the Related Links section for a printable PDF version of this letter.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Sublette County, Wyoming
P.O. Box 250
PINEDALE, WY 82941
April 16, 2008
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
122 West 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Dear Mr. Corra:
As a follow up to our previous meeting in which your department presented to the Sublette County Commission an explanation of your present procedures regarding monitoring and regulatory responsibilities of DEQ, we wish to thank you for this information, and your offer to follow up with a public meeting in Sublette County to further discuss concerns regarding ground water quality and air quality issues associated with intense energy development in Sublette County. We also are expressing our concern in regards to what we feel is a lack of air quality monitoring efforts presently occurring in Sublette County.
The Sublette County Commission is concerned that present air quality monitoring efforts do not provide adequate data to either identify or analyze possible air toxics associated with natural gas drilling and production, including chemicals from formation gas, chemicals which are likely to be emitted to ambient air, and any other air contaminants of concern, including ozone. We feel the citizens of our county are rightfully concerned about possible health risks associated with the ongoing air emissions occuring in our county. We also feel that a sufficient monitoring program should both identify air toxics and assess actual health risks associated with air emissions. If warranted, immediate remedial action must be taken both by Sublette County and Wyoming Department of Health. If not warranted, then the citizens of our county will be secure in knowing that monitoring procedures are in place and operating in a manner that will provide assurance that air quality issues are being properly addressed.
The Sublette County Commission proposes a joint effort with DEQ to complete a health risk assessment. The protocol and assessment design should address health concerns of local citizens and be developed by professionals from Sublette County, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health.
We look forward to further discussion of our offer to participate in air quality monitoring efforts. Thank you for consideration of this matter.
William W. Cramer
John P. Linn
Cc: Governor Freudenthal
Senator Michael B. Enzi
Senator John Barrasso
Representative Barbara Cubin
Robert A. Bennett, State Director, BLM
Chuck Otto, Pinedale Field Office BLM
Dr. Brent Sherard, Director, Wyoming Department of Health
Dr. Timothy Ryan, Environmental Epidemiologist, DOH
Dr. Tom Johnston, Sublette County Health Officer
Annie Sondgeroth, Sublette County Public Health Nurse
Keith Raney, Sublette County Sanitarian
Town of Pinedale
Jeroen van der Veer, CEO, Shell Oil Company
Michael D. Watford, CEO, Ultra Petroleum Corporation
Randy Eresman, CEO, Encana Corporation
Keith Rattie, CEO, Questar Corporation
Tony Hayward, CEO, BP Amoco