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Updated: Handwritten TCEQ Notes on Air Monitoring Seem to Focus on Appearances

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/6/14 8:10:00 (1200 reads)

Open in new windowTxSharon, over at Bluedaze has posted some hand-written notes obtained from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regarding that Phase IV air quality study that already has them in hot water.

What I find most interesting is this:

- Where [sic] respirator if needed, but if media is around, wait to take samples.
- If camera around w/respirator, email Terry Clawson.


In other words, you wouldn't want to alarm the public by being seen having to wear a respirator if the air should be really bad.

There's also this note:
* Opening QC each day
    - Benzene needs to pass


The phrase "Benzene needs to pass" could be disturbing if the meaning is "make it pass". Hopefully this is just a note about machine calibration with a reference standard or something like that. (See updates below on this.)

At any rate, I'm further reassured that the decision of my neighborhood association to conduct and pay for our own testing is the right decision.



Update: 1:31 PM - We just spoke with TCEQ spokesman Terry Clawson, who was listed in the document. Clawson says that the statement regarding Benzene was indeed related to quality control, and referred to calibrating the equipment. With regards to the staff wearing respirators, we asked if TCEQ had thought the air would have been bad enough to require respirators. Clawson responded "absolutely not". Clawson was going to look into the QC procedures for the equipment, such as the Toxic Vapor Analyzers (TVAs) and get back to us.

Update #2 (6/16/2010):
Clawson got back to us this morning with a fuller explanation of the benzene comment:
The comment was in reference to the gas chromatograph van-mounted analyzer. Here's some technical data:


The comment that "Benzene needs to pass" was written with the understanding that the benzene daily quality control (QC) analyses must pass our real-time GC (RTGC) acceptance criteria. The criteria are listed in Standard Operating Procedure AMOR-001 and for benzene is as follows:

- The relative percent error (accuracy) must between the QC run and the theoretical concentration must be between 80 percent and 120 percent

- The relative percent difference (precision) between the two QC runs must be less than or equal to 20 percent.

I'm glad to see that this was nothing sinister. I didn't think it would be. But I am a bit concerned about the tolerances above, not just with accuracy, where a certain amount of deviation is expected, but with the precision. Although I'm no scientist, I would imagine that allowing a 20% difference between one test and another on the same machine would be a bit much, and would call into question the accuracy of results. I'll be interested to know if any of our readers has experience with precision figures for these types of instruments.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/14 12:19  Updated: 2010/6/14 13:15
 Re: Handwritten TCEQ Notes on Air Monitoring Seem to Focu...
Wow, you guys are nice, paying for your own air testing. Would you also suggest that the gulf states pay for their own oil cleanup? Why are the operators not paying for air testing? Are they not the ones that put air/water quality in question to begin with?
Reply

Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2010/6/14 13:21  Updated: 2010/6/14 13:21
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3860
 Re: Handwritten TCEQ Notes on Air Monitoring Seem to Focu...
When we made our deal last May, none of us in the neighborhood association really had a grasp on what kind of problems there were with air quality. We negotiated a deal with our operator to conduct water quality testing, but we didn't think to ask for air testing.

But that being said, there's no substitute for the confidence that comes from having control over the testing, and knowing that no political appointees or industry insiders can suppress anything. So from that perspective, we'll probably do some limited private water testing, if for no other reason than to keep the city and the operator on their toes and to be able to validate their results. We don't in any way want to give up our rights to have our government conduct its own testing in the furtherance of our safety.

If anything goes wrong with any aspect of the production in our neighborhood, I think you'll see quite a few of us make it our personal mission to ensure that the responsible party cleans it up. We'll be watching in more ways than the operator can know.
Reply

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/15 8:50  Updated: 2010/6/15 9:05
 Re: Handwritten TCEQ Notes on Air Monitoring Seem to Focu...
Steve, I don't think you get told thank you enough for all that you do. Lewisville is a better place to live because you take the time to bring information to light.
Reply

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/20 22:39  Updated: 2010/6/21 7:36
 Re: Handwritten TCEQ Notes on Air Monitoring Seem to Focu...
Now, let's see *IF* they ever tackle carbon disulphide. It's a nerve poison, that's all.
Reply

Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2010/6/21 7:53  Updated: 2010/6/21 7:53
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3860
 Re: Carbon disulphide
Do you think we should test for that one? Our current order is Benzene + top 9 others. We could tell them to add Carbon disulphide, and the top 8 others.
Reply


Other articles
2014/7/22 23:30:00 - Lewisville Loses Appeal on Sex Offender Ordinance
2014/7/20 23:54:58 - Monday Morning Update
2014/7/20 11:02:51 - Take the Win in Iran
2014/7/19 7:35:38 - Combating Post-Traumatic Stress Event in Denton Saturday
2014/7/14 20:50:00 - Lewisville City Council Adopts Vision 2025 Plan
2014/7/6 22:00:00 - Photos from Lake Park on Independence Day
2014/7/6 10:40:00 - Updated: Council to Consider School Zones for LHS Campuses on Main and FM 3040
2014/7/6 9:50:17 - Sunday Morning Update - Independence Day Weekend Edition
2014/7/5 13:10:00 - Local Groups Organizing Toiletry Drive for Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants
2014/7/3 11:00:00 - Area Independence Day Celebrations and Fireworks


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