Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Health problems Flare up for EFS residents
Another Excerpt from SA Current
Depending on where you drill, wells in the Eagle Ford pump out a combination of oil, gas, or condensate. Companies can store and ship the gases for treatment. If the pipeline infrastructure isn’t there or if those “economically irrelevant” reserves aren’t worth the hassle, companies can get a permit from state regulators to burn, or “flare”, the gases.
It’s roughly a mile from Mike and Myra Cernys’ front door to Marathon’s Sugarhorn Central Facility, home to multiple crude oil, condensate, and wastewater tanks, as well as two flares.
TCEQ records show an inspector first investigated the Sugarhorn facility on August 15, 2012 to follow up on the Cernys’ complaints.
An inspector spotted emissions coming from the storage tanks using an infrared camera. TCEQ records note that during a 12-hour period, the facility emitted 42 pounds of benzene, over four times what they permitted for that specific site. Hydrogen sulfide, a natural gas that can cause serious injury when inhaled even at minimal concentrations, leaked from the facility at over 100 times the permitted amount. Nearly 3,000 pounds of methane went into the air, records show.
Prolonged exposure to benzene, William Subra, a Louisiana based environmental scientist says, is known to cause leukemia and blood cell damage. In addition, TCEQ reports from the facility showed elevated levels of toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene, compounds that may cause liver and kidney damage over long exposure periods, Subra says. In the short-term, “you’d expect to see nose, throat, eye and skin irritation,” Subra said.
All for the Money !