In recent months, there has been much talk over air quality in areas with heavy Marcellus Shale drilling. Some have claimed drilling operations release enough chemicals into the air to endanger local residents. For now, those claims are not supported by results from a DEP study on air quality in southwestern Pennsylvania. Secretary Hanger explains:
This short-term study only provides a snapshot of the air contaminants we found at surveyed sites, but the data show no emission levels that would constitute a concern to the health of residents living near these operations.
DEP tested for concentrations of volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone precursor emissions. The agency did not detect levels above national ambient air quality standards at any of the surveyed sites, but residents may still have to deal with the smell of rotten eggs as harmless concentrations of Methyl Mercaptan were detected around compressor stations.