Public and Private Environmental Laboratory Collaboration for Oil and Gas Regulatory and Industry Dissolved Gas Methodology Study

Public and Private Environmental/ Public Health Laboratory Partnerships
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information: dgratson@envstd.com; 505-660-8521


ABSTRACT

Analysis of methane and other light hydrocarbon gases in water has become an increasing interest in recent years due to significant expansion of shale gas drilling. Methane in water is not regulated by the US EPA, yet several states require the analysis and monitoring and it is used extensively for monitored natural attenuation reclamation. Starting in 2014 a collaboration was established between government regulators, commercial laboratories, and the regulated community to address the noted issues with the most common procedure used to monitor for dissolved methane.

The presentation will outline the collaborative process used to improve data quality and consistency within the national environmental measurement community and to protect public health. The five phases of the studies will be described highlighting the collective work among the participating public and private laboratories, and the sponsoring organization. This collaboration included government, laboratory and consulting industry partnership with the oil and gas industries’ Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). Environmental Standards, Inc., the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Laboratories, and over 20 private laboratories, have spent more than 4 years in the development of a standardized method for dissolved gas testing. Via this multi-year, multi-phase series of studies, precision and accuracy problems associated with measuring methane and other light gases were identified. The resulting final SOP from this collaboration was used as the basis for a rigorous interlaboratory study, completed in late 2019.