On Basin Now
December 22, 2017
A winter ozone alert system for the Uintah Basin may be aimed at keeping the oil and gas industry informed but can also have a broader reach. Director of the USU Bingham Research Center Seth Lyman explains that the alert system was designed to inform the oil and gas industry if there is poor air quality in order to make adjustments, but that all community members are welcome to sign up. “We made the alert system to tell you two days in advance what the air quality will be,” explains Lyman. “[It] sends out an email if poor air quality is forecast.” With that knowledge, it is hoped that adjustments can be made. For example, changing seals, checking equipment to make sure it is not leaking, and delaying blow downs in the oil and gas industry that put a lot of emissions into the air can make a big difference in air quality when there is an inversion. Lyman also explains that thanks to funds from the state Division of Air Quality, leak detection cameras are available to oil and gas facilities to see emissions of natural gas that cannot be seen by the naked eye. “It’s a great tool to find and reduce leaks,” shares Lyman, “and it’s completely free of charge and right here in Vernal.” Community members can also put the alerts to use and reduce their emission output by limiting use of wood stoves and never idling a vehicle. Every bit helps. Link through www.tricountyhealth.com to sign up for alerts.