About Air and Water

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good news and dubious developments from EPA

By Faith Chatham, DFWRCC, Aug. 16, 2012

Today in the Federal Register new rules for Natural Gas production and transmission were published by the Environmental Protection Agency. The NSPS/ NESHAP for Oil &; Gas Sector published today are in the most part good news for the health of citizens in the Barnett Shale and other oil and gas patch environments.

I am writing this from the EPA public hearing on proposed roll-back of standards for cement kilh production and proposals to delay implementation of stronger standards upheld by the Federal District Court. This is probably the first that many of you have heard of these hearings. Unless you were on the mailing list of an environmental group, you probably did not get a notice of the public hearings. The EPA only gave 2 weeks notice and named only one hearing site in the United States. For me that was good news. The site is the Arlington City Hall a few blocks from my home. I admire people from Kansas and Maryland and North Carolina who came to this hearing. The number of people on portable oxygen, with inhalers, and medical reports on environmentally excaberated asthma and COPD seemed to outnumber the persons without such conditions.

With the exception of a few cement industry spokespersons, every speaker urged the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the stricter standards proposed in their 2010 guidelines and to not delay implementation. Citizens who have "worked on" cement kilh emission issues for decades, and who are savvy enough to understand that this is settled science and no new findings prompted these proposals to set aside the stricter guidelines are perplexed at the EPA calling these hearings and proposing rollling back these standards.

If you wish to submit statements by Sept. 17, 2012 on the cement kihl emission standards, you can send them by e-mail to:
a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0817 or fax your comments to:
202-566-1741, Attention Docket ID. No. HQ-OAR-2011-0817

The proposed changes to the 2012 Published rules would "extend the compliance date for existing kilns under the air toxics standards for two more years from September 2013 to September 2015. Hearings and studies and court cases on these emissions have been in progress for over 20 years. The 2010 published standards (which the industry is pressuring the EPA to roll-back) are based on "SETTLED SCIENCE."  The technology has not changed and the health consequences documented for decades demonstrate the need for compliance and timely enforcement. The proposed changes will increase the emissions from the cement plants significantly and delay implementation If you care about your breath and your family's health, join with those who testified in person today and urge the EPA to enact the 2010 published standards without further delay.

EPA website on Proposed Changes to Portland Cement Standards.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wyoming's governor persuaded the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to postpone an announcement linking hydraulic fracturing to groundwater contamination, giving state officials - whom the EPA had privately briefed on the study - time to attempt to debunk the finding before it rocked the oil and gas industry more than a month later, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.
During the delay, state officials raised dozens of questions about the finding that the controversial procedure that has become essential to unlocking oil and gas deposits in Wyoming and beyond may have tainted groundwater near the gas patch community of Pavillion.
Gov. Matt Mead contacted EPA Director Lisa Jackson and persuaded her to hold off any announcement, according to state emails and an interview with the governor. The more than 11,000 emails made available to AP in response to a state records request show that Wyoming officials took advantage of the postponement to "take a hard line" and coordinate an "all-out press" against the EPA in the weeks leading up to the announcement Dec. 8.
Meanwhile, the chief state regulator of oil and gas development fretted over how the finding would affect state revenue.
And even as the state questioned the EPA's science, there were internal doubts about how effective those objections would be.
"It's already too late. The White House has already seen the report with conclusions," wrote Gary Strong, an engineer with the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, following a presentation by EPA deputy assistant regional administrator Martin Hestmark. The emails indicate that, at least in the minds of Wyoming officials, the federal agency was being pressed by the White House to release its report.
"Once local folks received data and it showed what it did they had the responsibility to take it to HQ and in fact it ended up with them in front of the White House. HQ and White House decided that now that data is released EPA must release conclusions quickly," wrote Tom Kropatsch, a natural resource analyst for the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, who also took the notes at a Nov. 16 EPA-state meeting.
But the state's questions did set the stage for additional groundwater and household well water sampling in the Pavillion area that began a couple weeks ago.
The struggle by both Wyoming officials and the EPA for message control shows the extent to which they fretted about the findings. Wyoming depends on oil and gas for its economic well-being while environmentalists have pushed the Obama administration to crack down on a process responsible for increasing U.S. onshore production.
The worry wasn't misplaced: Though the findings were unique to Pavillion, they ricocheted amid heightened scrutiny of fracking in other drilling regions including the Marcellus Shale states of New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The emails also suggest an uneasy partnership now that the EPA and Wyoming, as well as U.S. Geological Survey and two American Indian tribes, say they are working together on further study of the Pavillion groundwater.
However, some recent re-sampling by the EPA of household well water in the Pavillion area took Mead and other state officials by surprise. They had presumed that only two monitoring wells the EPA had drilled to test for groundwater pollution would be retested this spring.
"I won't tell anybody not to test. But if you're going to test, you need to bring everyone in the process," Mead said in an interview Monday.
The EPA did not make Jackson available for an interview. EPA Region 8 Director Jim Martin said in a statement through spokesman Richard Mylott that the EPA "has been transparent and has relied on the best science" to inform Pavillion-area residents about their water.
Environmentalists including the Natural Resource Defense Council and Sierra Club have looked to the Obama administration EPA to get tougher on fracking, the practice of cracking open oil and gas deposits by pumping pressurized water, fine sand and chemicals down well holes. They maintain that fracking is a threat to clean groundwater.
The EPA study in the Pavillion area followed years of complaints from homeowners that their well water took on a chemical stink around the time that fracking picked up in their neighborhood about eight years ago. Environmentalists welcomed the draft report as validation of their concerns.
Wyoming is the third-ranked state for onshore gas production and ninth for onshore oil production. Nearly every new oil and gas well in Wyoming that isn't a coal-bed methane well is fracked.
In internal emails that followed the Nov. 4 briefing, state officials expressed support for fracking as critical to oil and gas extraction, a $7.7 billion a year industry in Wyoming that accounts for 20 percent of the state's gross domestic product.
"The limiting of the hydraulic fracturing process will result in negative impacts to the oil and gas revenues to the state of Wyoming. A further outcome will be the questioning of the economic viability of all unconventional and tight oil and gas reservoirs in Wyoming, across the United States, and ultimately in the world," wrote Tom Doll, supervisor of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, in a long email that circulated among top state officials.
Wyoming's top state regulator of oil and gas development, including essentially all fracking in the state, Doll was a district manager for Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Production Company until 2008.
The spark for Doll's missive was the closed-door meeting at Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality headquarters in Cheyenne two days earlier. EPA administrator Martin briefed Wyoming officials about what the EPA was about to announce based on its research in Pavillion. Doll took part by phone.
"Contaminants present at high concentrations in the deep monitoring wells are likely a result of hydraulic fracturing," read a "Key Findings" slide in an EPA PowerPoint shown at the meeting. Each slide was marked "Confidential-Do Not Disclose."
The public announcement more than a month later stated that the groundwater "contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing."
The EPA also suggested at the private meeting that gas development likely had contaminated household well water in the Pavillion area but that current data did not definitively support such a link. The EPA has made no such claim in public to date.
Emails show that Mead sought to reach Jackson within hours. Mead confirmed that he got her to hold off on the findings report until state officials could review the data.
"When I talked to Lisa Jackson they were going to release the findings regardless. That wasn't even the question. The question was on the timing of it. We wanted a chance to see what are they basing this on," Mead told the AP.
"She said, 'Well, maybe we can hold off a couple weeks to give you guys this data.'"
The EPA released raw data on pollution in the two monitoring wells at a public meeting in Pavillion on Nov. 9, five days after the private state briefing. Among the pollutants was the carcinogen benzene as high as 50 times the EPA limit. The EPA showed a PowerPoint similar to the one shown at the private meeting but without announcing any findings. There was no "Key Findings" slide.
Releasing the data and findings outside of the purview of two "working groups" angered state regulators. The working groups made up of state and EPA officials had been examining the Pavillion pollution for the better part of a year.
Wyoming didn't take the news from the private EPA briefing sitting down.
The state could "get ahead of the curve" by assigning its own experts to review the data, suggested John Corra, the environmental quality director."Sort of an all out press," Corra wrote to Doll and others Nov. 7.
Doll suggested to Corra and others in a Nov. 19 email that Wyoming take "a hard line" after one EPA official told them to drop their concerns.
"EPA has not substantially defended their explanation, the data is questionable on many levels, and EPA has ignored our alternative explanations," Doll wrote.
Dozens of questions from state regulators followed. They included why the monitoring well water samples had high pH readings. The EPA report referred to the high pH and mentioned the detection of potassium hydroxide, a basic chemical used in fracking.
Pavillion residents didn't hear about the finding before the public announcement, said John Fenton, chairman of Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens.
Fenton said he was unhappy that regulators hadn't kept local residents fully apprised of the latest developments concerning their water supply. Yet he held EPA in higher regard than the state officials he said ignored Pavillion for years, prompting residents to request the EPA investigation.
"Those of us living out here, we don't trust the state," he said.
State officials actively kept the media in the dark about the upcoming EPA announcement, even as reporters questioned them about the data.
"My sense is that the reporter was searching for a conflict to write about, and I tried to head that off," Corra wrote Nov. 29 to several other state officials about one reporter's questions.
Another state regulator suggested that Wyoming officials keep in mind how they're perceived while they questioned the EPA data.
"This could go on for a long time, during which we'll likely continue to be in an adversarial discussion with EPA, the public and the press," the Department of Environmental Quality's groundwater chief, Kevin Frederick, wrote to Corra on Dec. 2. "Is there a way to shift the focus of discussion to show the State in a more positive light while the present uncertainties continue to simmer?"
The additional sampling since agreed to has extended the study of the Pavillion groundwater. Peer review of the sampling results, set to begin this spring, now is scheduled for this fall.
Follow Mead Gruver on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/meadgruver

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/05/03/3933449/ap-exclusive-wyo-got-epa-to-delay.html#storylink=cpy

Gas Drilling Industry files law suit opposing Arlington's Fire Fee


ARLINGTON -- Two natural gas well trade organizations filed suit Monday in a District Court in Tarrant County to prevent Arlington from implementing what they deem an unnecessary and discriminatory new tax on gas wells.
Last month, the City Council unanimously approved a $2,397 annual fee per well to pay for more firefighters, training and equipment, which Fire Chief Don Crowson said the city needs to prevent and better respond to gas well emergencies. The fee, the first of its kind in the Barnett Shale, is expected to generate an estimated $800,000 for the Fire Department's gas well emergency preparedness and response program.
The Texas Oil & Gas Association and the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association argue that the city, which has more than 300 gas wells, is trying to unfairly "expand its revenues by taxing a single industry."
"It's seven times higher than any other permit fee they charge to a particular business," said Justin Furnace, president of the royalty owners association. "We're really left with no alternative but to seek relief from the court."
The associations call the Fire Department's gas well program, which will add a layer of inspections at well sites, unnecessary given the industry's safety record in the Barnett Shale. The suit says that while the Fire Department responds to tens of thousands of service calls annually, the city has had only three natural gas well incidents in six years and that those releases were handled by the companies, not firefighters.
The city has also repeatedly turned down well operators' offers of free training, Furnace said.
"The industry has a terrific record when it comes to public safety in the city of Arlington," Furnace said, adding that companies have their own emergency responders available around the clock. "To the extent that extra training is needed, we stand ready as an industry to provide that training free of charge to the city."
Advanced training
Crowson defended his program Monday, saying first responders need training in an urban environment that is more advanced than the cursory gas well site awareness classes being offered by the industry. Though the fee has not been implemented, the Fire Department has hired a gas well safety and security inspector and a captain to oversee the preparedness and response program.
Dozens of firefighters are also expected to undergo industry-specific training in Houston this summer to learn how to protect the community during gas well fires or other incidents, he said.
"At the end of the day it's my team that is responsible for public safety. The only way we can do that is to properly equip and train our team to do those things that keep the public safe," Crowson said. "Awareness-level training does not come anywhere close to matching our need to deal with an emergency. We need to know more than just what elements are on a pad site."
The Fire Department also plans to use the fee to pay for six additional firefighter positions and to train and equip 42 current firefighters to create two gas well emergency response teams.
The council approved the program despite opposition from Chesapeake Energy, XTO Energy and Quicksilver Resources. Representatives from those companies told the council that they were concerned that the Fire Department's program could lead to "potentially unsafe measures, unreasonable costs and additional burdens that may prohibit the industry from quickly and safely managing any unforeseen or unplanned critical incident."
Crowson said that the program was reviewed by the city's legal department and two outside legal teams and that they determined that the city has jurisdiction to implement to an industry-specific fee for additional public safety expenses.
Unattractive for drilling
The associations say the new fee will make Arlington unattractive to natural gas operators and could cost the community jobs and mineral rights revenue, Furnace said.
"My hope is they understand that tens of thousands of jobs are created up there through the oil and gas industry. It affects thousands of mineral owners anytime one of these fees are assessed this way," he said.
The lawsuit says that Arlington has one of the highest gas well permit fees in North Texas and that the city collected more than $1.7 million in fees from natural gas well operators in 2011. The city also collected more than $105 million in bonuses and royalty payments for gas well leases on public lands, according to court documents.
While the Fire Department plans to charge drillers nearly $2,400 per well to cover public safety risks, it charges other businesses that store, haul or handle hazardous materials no more than $350 in permit fees per year.
"There is simply no justification, no reasonable basis, for singling out natural gas well operators among similarly situated businesses when it comes to the potential dangers and hazards they pose to public health and safety," the suit says.
Susan Schrock, 817-709-7578
Twitter: @susanschrock

Did Chesapeake Energy underreport personal use of company jets?

Did Chesapeake Energy underreport personal use of company jets?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dallas Observer Sums up Industry Assault on Dr. Al

Dallas Observer Sums up Assault on Dr. Al

How one Parker County Man's Flaming War sparked a battle between Texas and the EPA

How One Parker County Man's Flaming Water Sparked a War between Texas and the EPA
Dr. Al, the regional 5 Director for the Environmental Protection Agency is under attack.
Recently the EPA linked fracking with ground water contamination.
Now there are outcries calling for his removal. They claim it is not connected. I believe it is because the EPA is now a functioning agency doing it's job. Please petition the President to keep Dr. Al on the job with the team he has assembled which are focused on protecting the people, animals and environment.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Independent test results show fracking flowback emissions are dangerous toxics, not "steam"

By Earthworks - April 24, 2012 Texas town ignores own test results to allow fracking to continue in violation of city ordinances, endangering local residents Colleyville, TX, April 24 -- Today Colleyville and Southlake residents, and Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project released results from local residents’ privately-funded air testing of Titan Operations’ “mini-frack” on the border of both communities. The tests, performed by GD Air Testing Inc. of Richardson, TX, prove emissions released during fracking and flowback contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.
“We paid for tests because we can’t depend on the city or the fracking industry,” said Colleyville resident Kim Davis. She continued, “The tests confirmed our worst fears, while Colleyville ignored their own tests to let fracking continue. Apparently the city represents Titan and the gas industry instead of local residents.”
Colleyville City ordinances expressly prohibit the release of any gases: “No person shall allow, cause or permit gases to be vented into the atmosphere or to be burned by open flame.”
The community-funded test results, which detected twenty-six chemicals, also showed carbon disulfide, a neurotoxin at twice the state level for short-term exposure. Benzene, a known carcinogen, and Naphthalene, a suspected carcinogen, were both over state long-term exposure levels by more than 9 times and more than 7 times, respectively. Carbonyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide and Pyridine were all detected above safe limits for long-term exposure.
Gordon Aalund, an MD with toxicology training who lives in Southlake and practices emergency medicine said, “Exceeding long and short term exposure limits to these toxics places us all at increased and unneeded risk.” He went on to say, “When your government fails to protect you and the company cannot be trusted, private citizens are forced to act.”
The Colleyville results indirectly confirm the suspicions of Arlington-area residents about air pollution from ongoing Chesapeake Energy fracking and flowback operations in their neighborhood since December 2011. Residents who experienced health impacts were told by Chesapeake that flowback emissions were only “steam”. When challenged to substantiate its claims with public testing, the company failed to respond.
“It’s great that concerned citizens in the Colleyville-area have the wherewithal to pay for their own testing when government fails to do its job. But I live in southeast Arlington, where our community doesn’t have the resources to do government’s job for it,” said Arlington resident Chuck Harper. He continued, “Why isn’t TCEQ doing these tests? If the watchdog isn’t watching, who do we turn to for protection?”
“It’s state and local failures like these that make plain the need to close fracking loopholes in federal environmental laws,” said Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “When TCEQ can’t be bothered to protect their own citizens, when cities ignore their own laws, when companies lie to communities left, right and center, there’s nowhere else to turn.“
Colleyville Town Ordinance (Prohibition of gas venting at pages 3.1-17 and 3.1-10): http://bit.ly/Colleyville-Gases-Code
GD Air Testing Inc. results:
Background/analysis of GD Air Testing Inc. results:
Violations indicated in test results:
Wilma Subra analysis of test results:
Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

EPA Issues Updated, Achievable Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Natural Gas

EPA - Washington, D.C., April 18, 2012

EPA Issues Updated, Achievable Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Natural Gas

Half of fractured wells already deploy technologies in line with final standards, which slash harmful emissions while reducing cost of compliance

WASHINGTON – In response to a court deadline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized standards to reduce harmful air pollution associated with oil and natural gas production. The updated standards, required by the Clean Air Act, were informed by the important feedback from a range of stakeholders including the public, public health groups, states and industry. As a result, the final standards reduce implementation costs while also ensuring they are achievable and can be met by relying on proven, cost-effective technologies as well as processes already in use at approximately half of the fractured natural gas wells in the United States. These technologies will not only reduce 95 percent of the harmful emissions from these wells that contribute to smog and lead to health impacts, they will also enable companies to collect additional natural gas that can be sold. Natural gas is a key component of the nation’s clean energy future and the standards released today make sure that we can continue to expand production of this important domestic resource while reducing impacts to public health, and most importantly builds on steps already being taken by industry leaders.

"The president has been clear that he wants to continue to expand production of important domestic resources like natural gas, and today’s standard supports that goal while making sure these fuels are produced without threatening the health of the American people," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "By ensuring the capture of gases that were previously released to pollute our air and threaten our climate, these updated standards will not only protect our health, but also lead to more product for fuel suppliers to bring to market. They're an important step toward tapping future energy supplies without exposing American families and children to dangerous health threats in the air they breathe.”

When natural gas is produced, some of the gas escapes the well and may not be captured by the producing company. These gases can pollute the air and as a result threaten public health. Consistent with states that have already put in place similar requirements, the updated EPA standards released today include the first federal air rules for natural gas wells that are hydraulically fractured, specifically requiring operators of new fractured natural gas wells to use cost-effective technologies and practices to capture natural gas that might otherwise escape the well, which can subsequently be sold. EPA’s analysis of the final rules shows that they are highly cost-effective, relying on widely available technologies and practices already deployed at approximately half of all fractured wells, and consistent with steps industry is already taking in many cases to capture additional natural gas for sale, offsetting the cost of compliance. Together these rules will result in $11 to $19 million in savings for industry each year. In addition to cutting pollution at the wellhead, EPA’s final standards also address emissions from storage tanks and other equipment.

Also in line with the executive order released by the president last week on natural gas development, the rule released today received important interagency feedback and provides industry flexibilities. Based on new data provided during the public comment period, the final rule establishes a phase-in period that will ensure emissions reduction technology is broadly available. During the first phase, until January 2015, owners and operators must either flare their emissions or use emissions reduction technology called “green completions,” technologies that are already widely deployed at wells. In 2015, all new fractured wells will be required to use green completions. The final rule does not require new federal permits. Instead, it sets clear standards and uses enhanced reporting to strengthen transparency and accountability, and ensure compliance, while establishing a consistent set of national standards to safeguard public health and the environment.

An estimated 13,000 new and existing natural gas wells are fractured or re-fractured each year. As those wells are being prepared for production, they emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to smog formation, and air toxics, including benzene and hexane, which can cause cancer and other serious health effects. In addition, the rule is expected to yield a significant environmental co-benefit by reducing methane, the primary constituent of natural gas. Methane, when released directly to the atmosphere, is a potent greenhouse gas—more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

During the nearly 100-day public comment period, the agency received more than 150,000 comments on the proposed rules from the public, industry, environmental groups and states. The agency also held three public hearings. The updated standards were informed by the important feedback received through the public comment period, reducing implementation cost and ensuring the achievable standard can be met by relying on proven, cost-effective technologies and processes already in use.


Environmental Groups Praise EPA’s First-Ever Clean Air Protections for Fracking

Joint statement by Sierra Club * Earthjustice * Clean Air Task Force * Environment America * Earthworks * Clean Water Action - April 18, 2012
Agency Takes Important First Step to Protect Air Quality and Public Health

Washington, D.C., April 18—Today environmental groups praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) vital updates to nationwide air quality protections to include oil and natural gas production. This is the first federal safeguard aimed at curbing air pollution from hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking.’

The EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) will benefit the health of Americans and our environment in many ways. The updated standards will result in major reductions in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic benzene and methane, a highly potent contributor to climate disruption. These pollutants are known to cause asthma attacks, hospital admissions, emergency room visits, cancer and even premature death.

The measure will also benefit the gas industry –EPA projects that capturing more methane and other gasses to send to market will save an estimated $30 million annually.

Today’s announcement by the EPA is a major step forward. However, the two-year delay in reducing pollution from wellheads is an unnecessary setback because industry can meet those standards now. The environmental community is committed to working with EPA to strengthen the public health and air quality safeguards to protect families who live near existing fracking sites.

The EPA proposed the updated safeguards in July 2011. Since the proposal, environmental groups submitted more than 156,000 comments and turned out hundreds of supporters of strong standards to hearings in Pittsburgh, PA, Denver, CO, and Arlington, TX.

In response to EPA’s announcement, environmental leaders released the following statements:

“EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is taking an important first step in closing loopholes for the natural gas industry and addressing dangerous air quality levels in and near frack-fields across the country,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “The natural gas industry dumps massive amounts of air pollutants into our air every day, sickening families and children. An industry that touts its ability to efficiently drill thousands of wells thousands of feet into the earth is crying wolf when it claims it can’t build enough tanks to capture wellhead pollution. It’s time we clean up the natural gas industry’s dirty and reckless practices.”

“From Colorado to Pennsylvania, the gas industry is making a killing from drilling, and at the very least they should cut dirty and dangerous air pollution that threatens our families’ health,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America. “EPA’s action today is a breath of fresh air for every man, woman, and child living in the shadow of the gas drilling boom.”

“Left to its own devices, the oil and gas industry has turned the clear skies over Wyoming as smoggy as the car-choked highways of Los Angeles. For decades, industry had a free pollution pass. Thanks to a court victory, that changes today,” said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen. “There is more work to be done to protect Americans living near oil and gas fields from cancer and other unacceptable health threats, but this rule from EPA is an important first step.”

“The stories of families hurt by gas drilling’s air pollution were essential to the adoption of these new public health safeguards,” said Bruce Baizel, senior attorney for Earthworks. “Hopefully this much-needed first step will soon be expanded to better protect the families that illustrated the need for the new rules in the first place.”

"These important rules start to cut down on air pollution that harms people living near wells, creates smog, and warms the climate," said David McCabe, senior scientist with Clean Air Task Force. "They are a solid start, but we need to keep working to reduce pollution from the gas industry all the way from the well to the customer. People who live near compressors and equipment already in use need to see their air cleaned up as well. Unfortunately these rules won't do that."

“Our members in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado have suffered because state regulators haven’t acted to control oil and gas operations, so these standards are a win-win-win,” said Lynn Thorp, Clean Water Action National Campaigns Director. “They protect people from air pollution, help curb climate change and save the industry money. People expect the federal government to use their authority to protect their health, their drinking water and the air they breathe and this is a good first step.”


Travel to other worlds ... UTA Planetarium

Immersive full-dome 3-D Digital planetarium show narrated by Ewan McGregor (Obi wan Kepobi from Star Wars) - Astronaut takes you exporing the worlds of inner and outer space. The movie is projected all around you. You recline in specially constructed chairs which enables you to comfortably view the immersive full-dome planetarium show. Astronaut! (produced from the National Space Centre in England) goes beyond the stereotypical space movie. Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of the astronaut. Float around the international Space Station moving thorugh the microscopic regions of the human body! Discover the beauty and perils as "Chad", the test astronaut experiences everything thrown at him.

Summer Schedule (June 2-August 26):


shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Wed. through Saturdays at 11 a.m.
and Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

Cosmic CSI

shows at the UTA Planetarium 3-D Digital Dome.

Wed. through Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Rock Hall of Fame 1 (The Original)

shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

Read more (Warning their flat dull website doesn't give much of a glimmer of the multi-dimensional experience you'll have once you enter the dome of the UTA Planetarium!)

Admission: Adults: $5.00

Seniors, Students, Children: $4.00

UTA Faculty, Staff & Alumni (with ID): $3.00

UTA Studens (with ID): $2.00

Groups of 10 or more with reservation: $3.00

Call 817 272-1183 or e-mail planetarium@uta.edu