New Mexico Environment Department Releases Data Tracking Excess Air Pollution Emissions

Credit: Cheryl Evans/The Arizona Republic.
Smog can be seen lingering around the San Tan Mountains from Hawes and Thomas in Mesa, Arizona on 1 January 2018.

New Mexico released data on excess greenhouse emissions from oil and gas operations to keep the public informed of the problem, as the state continues to develop stricter policies to regulate air pollution from the industry and other sources.

The data was uploaded to the New Mexico Environment Department’s website, per an NMED news release, and will be regularly updated.

NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said the move was to create greater transparency for the public regarding emissions from the industry amid a boom of oil and gas production in New Mexico and the Permian Basin. He said compliance with state regulations will be strictly enforced.

“Transparency of self-reported emissions data, in conjunction with our regulatory efforts to curb excess methane emissions in the oil and gas industry, is essential to understanding air quality impacts in communities around the state,” Kenney said.

Emissions from oil and gas facilities often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are a large contributor to the state’s green house gas.

Excess emissions are not always in violation of state law, read the release, but present opportunities for improvement, it said.

“Compliance with permits and air quality regulations is not optional,” Kenney said. “It is expected by the communities in which these facilities operate and by NMED.”

Read the full story here.

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