AQD to fine-tune its ozone focus on Boulder

The audience heard

a great deal of information on June 26

about last winter’s ozone statistics, models,

studies and industry emissions as

Wyoming Department of Environmental

Quality staff gathered with operators at its

annual post-ozone winter season meeting.

The Upper Green River Basin meeting

took place in Boulder – where ozone exceedances

in March led to short and longterm

ozone levels topping 105 parts per

billion, well above the federal standard of

70 ppb.

While a lot of information was traded,

the reasons for these ozone excesses in

February and March were not clearly defined.

The public’s questions about facility

inspectors and low compliance rates,

estimated at 70 percent, showed people’s


Federal, state, local and industry approaches

to curb wintertime ozone and

the designation of “nonattainment” of

2008 ozone standards have led to DEQ’s

Air Quality Division regaining its attainment

status. But the Upper Green has

“marginal” attainment for the lower 2015

ozone standard and March exceedances

set the Upper Green River Basin at an

overall value of 72 ppb.

DEQ Director Todd Parfitt pointed out

Gov. Mark Gordon’s policy advisor Beth

Galloway, Wyoming Reps. Albert Sommers

and Jim Roscoe and Sublette County

Commissioners Joel Bousman and Doug

Vickrey in the audience of 60 or so people.

“It shows just how important an issue it

is here,” Parfitt said. “Why Boulder? Because

this is where we saw elevated ozone

levels of 105 ppb, the highest this winter.

The other four AQD air-quality monitoring)

stations were at 54 ppb or less.”

Parfitt said that of 10 recommendations

from the UGRB Air Quality Citizens Advisory

Task Force that led to DEQ’s Winter

Ozone Strategy, all are implemented

but one – “Commercial oilfield waste disposal

we are still working on.”

Winter weather factors of snow, wind

and temperature inversions are beyond

DEQ’s control, he said. Ozone precursors

of volatile organic compounds and

nitrogen oxides are more strictly regulated

in the Upper Green River Basin than

elsewhere “and the AQD is going to drill

AQD to fine-tune its

ozone focus on Boulder

By Joy Ufford, [email protected]

Many questions address

compliance, inspections

down into this more.”

Companies can submit “self-audits”

to identify noncompliant areas but Parfitt

said a 67-percent compliance rate “is not

an impressive statistic.”

Operators represented were Ultra Resources,

Andeavor Logistics, Pinedale

Energy Partners Operating, Jonah Energy

and NGL for Anticline Disposal.

AQD Administrator Nancy Vehr said

many partners are working on ozone and

emissions issues and operators are encouraged

to submit and commit to ozone contingency



AQD staff related work on permitting,

air-quality monitoring and ozone forecasting.

Several projects get frequent updates,

such as forecast data for IMPACT and

permits at and the DEQ


From 2015 to 2017, AQD staff and

Cara Keslar carried out a large field study

about potential emissions at Anticline Disposal

and Calpet Disposal from recycling

and evaporating operators’ used water.

“We looked at produced-water ranks,

then we looked at produced water ponds

… trying to accurately predict pond conditions.”

While raw results are posted by the

DEQ, Keslar said the computer model still

needs 2018 and 2019 data “to target what

to reduce – VOC or NOx.”


AQD District 5 Compliance Manager

Lars Lone said inspections in the Upper

Green River Basin can be “very complex.

We have heard we need to have more inspectors

looking at this this after the past

ozone season.”

Last winter 288 sites of almost 4,000

facilities were inspected in the Upper

Green, and enforcement is a slow process,

he added. AQD maps identify “red” as

immediate needs and the map is updated

“every time we do an inspection.”

“While all of this was going on we

made calls … to talk with industry and

see what additional measures we can do

to reduce NOx and VOCs,” he said, adding

a complete update will be made at next

winter’s pre-winter ozone meeting,

Last month, Ultra Resources was cited

by AQD with a notice of violation for numerous

controllers that leaked or ran constantly.

Kelly Bott said the operator fixed


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