"As an example, McCawley noted that at one location where he found the highest pollutant levels, both his monitors and a drilling company, used to burn off excess flammable gases, were located 625 feet from the center of the well pad," Ward writes. McCawley told lawmakers, "You could have a flare literally right outside somebody's bedroom window under the setback. I don't know that any company would do that on purpose. But it would be legal."
McCawley "noted that the setback provision treats all locations equally, not taking into account the potential for some gas drilling sites in narrow hollows to be subject to weather inversions that trap pollutants near the ground," Ward writes. "McCawley recommended instead that more air-quality monitoring be done at drilling sites and that the data be used, along with public health guidelines, to require the best pollution control systems be used by industry." (Read more)