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May 5, 2014
EagleRidge Energy Complies with State Health and Safety Requirements for Emissions
On May 1, 2014, the Denton Drilling Awareness Group (“DAG”) published the results of an air
sampling taken on February 9, 2014, at a residence located in the Meadows at Hickory Creek
neighborhood in Denton. This residence is located approximately 800 feet to the southeast of a
gas production padsite owned and operated by EagleRidge Energy. DAG asserted that the
results show that residents in the neighborhood were exposed to levels of benzene exceeding
state long-term exposure limits and that videos it obtained show toxic emissions coming from
EagleRidge Energy’s gas well sites. Nevertheless, DAG’s claims are not supported by the
information released by DAG and are in direct contrast to independent air sampling tests
conducted by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The air sample report released by DAG shows that at the time of the sampling, the measured
concentration of benzene was 2.0 ppbV (“parts per billion value”). TCEQ has established short-
term and long-term Air Monitoring Comparison Values (AMCVs), which are guidelines used to
evaluate ambient concentrations of a chemical in air. AMCVs are also used to determine a
chemical’s potential to result in adverse health effects, adverse vegetative effects, or odors.
AMCVs are set to provide a margin of safety and are set below levels at which adverse health
effects are reported in the scientific literature. If a chemical concentration in ambient air is less
than its comparison value, no adverse health effects are expected to occur. If a chemical
concentration exceeds its comparison value it does not necessarily mean that adverse effects will
occur, but rather that further testing and evaluation is warranted. As a result, those measured
ambient concentrations which are below AMCV values are not of concern per TCEQ guidelines.
TCEQ has established a short-term health AMCV of 180 ppbv and a long-term health AMCV of
1.4 ppbv for benzene. The measured concentration reported by DAG, 2.0 ppbv, is representative
of a “short-term” emission and should be compared to the short-term health AMCV of 180 ppbv
of benzene. The 180 ppbv is the concentration at which TCEQ identifies that exposure at this
level in the short-term has the potential to adversely impact health or welfare. The measured
concentration of 2.0 ppbv is much less than the short-term health AMCV of 180 ppbv. As a
result, the residents of the neighborhood were not exposed to harmful concentrations of benzene
as alleged by DAG.
While a concentration of 2.0 ppbv exceeds the long-term health AMCV for benzene, the long-
term health AMCV is based on a life-time of exposures, or approximately 70 years. DAG has
not presented additional air sampling results indicating that the concentration is reoccurring.
According to TCEQ’s investigation procedures, when a concentration exceeds the long-term
health AMCV, further investigation may be appropriate and a single measurement cannot be
used without multiple test samples to assess whether health concerns exist. In other words,
several samples over a long period of time would need to be taken in order to confirm that the
long-term AMCV is being exceeded in order to assess whether the public is being exposed to
benzene at concentrations which would adversely impact human health or welfare. Because the
report released by DAG is a single short term sample, and includes no other subsequent
sampling, that one report does not indicate that the long-term health AMCV for benzene has
been exceeded, or provides a basis for concern.
EagleRidge Energy also points out that DAG did not disclose the results of other
contemporaneous air sampling done by the State of Texas that show that benzene concentrations
in the neighborhood have not exceeded either the state’s short-term or long-term health AMCVs.
Links to those reports are at the end of this press release. TCEQ collected air samples in the
immediate area of EagleRidge’s gas production sites on 2/7/2014, 2/9/2014 shortly after the
sample cited by DAG, and on 2/10/2014. According to TCEQ’s published sampling reports, the
location of all of the TCEQ’s samples were in closer proximity to EagleRidge’s gas production
sites, and therefore would reflect the highest concentrations of benzene in the tests taken by
either DAG or the TCEQ., The air samplings from the TCEQ tests measured benzene
concentrations of (0.46, 0.72, and 0.46 ppbv) that are most importantly substantially below the
concentration levels released by DAG and well below short-term and long-term AMCVs
guidelines established by the TCEQ. Based upon TCEQ’s published results, and in accordance
with TCEQ’s guidelines, the residents of the neighborhood are not being exposed to benzene at
concentrations which would adversely impact human health or welfare in the short-term or the
long-term. EagleRidge Energy is providing this information because DAG chose to report only
one air sample, while ignoring other air samples that demonstrate no dangerous levels of benzene
in the area of EagleRidge Energy’s gas production operations.
EagleRidge also noted that the sample released by DAG was not accompanied by a
“background” sample, or a sample which measures the ambient concentration of contaminants in
the air upwind of the padsite to assess other sources of benzene in the area. Without sampling
alleged “clean” air upwind of EagleRidge’s padsite, one cannot scientifically deduce that
EagleRidge’s operation contributed to the benzene concentration detected in the air sample
released by DAG. A sample immediately upwind of EagleRidge’s padsite would assist in
excluding other sources of benzene located in the neighborhood. The samples taken by the
TCEQ by comparison, were taken closer to the padsite and provide a more reliable basis for
assessing the presence of benzene in the neighborhood.
EagleRidge would also point out that TCEQ has actively sampled the air in the Barnett Shale
area in North Texas and concluded that the air monitors are showing “no signs of concern for
any chemicals” and that there are “no immediate health concerns for air quality in the area.” A
link to TCEQ’s report on its air sampling in the Barnett Shale area is at the end of this press
release. And, the results of the TCEQ’s air sampling in the Denton area can be viewed at
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, benzene “can originate from
outdoor air and also from sources indoors such as building materials and furniture, attached
garages, heating and cooking systems, stored solvents and various human activities. Indoor
concentrations are also affected by climatic conditions and the air exchange rate due to forced
or natural ventilation. Indoor concentrations are affected by outdoor levels owing to the
exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Outdoor benzene concentrations are mainly due to traffic
sources and are affected by season and meteorology. Other outdoor sources of benzene are
petrol stations and certain industries such as those concerned with coal, oil, natural gas,
chemicals and steel. Materials used in construction, remodeling and decorating are major
contributors to indoor benzene concentrations. Certain furnishing materials and polymeric
materials such as vinyl, PVC and rubber floorings, as well as nylon carpets and SBR-latex-
backed carpets, may contain trace levels of benzene. Benzene is also present in particleboard
furniture, plywood, fiberglass, flooring adhesives, paints, wood paneling, caulking and paint
remover. Therefore, new buildings or recently redecorated indoor environments have been
associated with high concentrations of benzene from materials and furniture. The rate of
emission of benzene from materials and furniture will decay and eventually these sources will
reach a quasi-steady emission rate in new buildings within weeks or months or up to a year”
Without conducting the proper ambient air sampling to screen other potential sources of benzene
and simultaneously measuring the background air quality, the residents of Denton and the
Vintage neighborhood should not conclude that the measured concentration was caused by
EagleRidge’s operations at the time of the sample.
DAG has asserted that videos taken of an EagleRidge Energy padsite show toxic emissions. The
public should not interpret these videos as evidence of air contamination since the videos and
DAG do not explain how the video shows the emission of toxic chemicals. As discussed above,
TCEQ’s air sampling has shown that EagleRidge Energy’s gas drilling and production operations
pose no threat to the community with results consistently well below prescribed levels.
EagleRidge embraces the standards for air quality that have been established by the TCEQ and is
committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the communities in which it operates.
The Company further engages environmental specialists to ensure compliance to established
health standards and regularly investigates the newest technologies that will result in reduced air
emissions in the immediate future.
Two Days Before; (February 7
Same Day 5 Hours After DAG Sample (February 9
Day After (February 10
TCEQ Report on Commitment to Air Quality in the Barnett Shale
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