The electric system is experiencing rapid growth in the adoption of a mix of distributed renewable and fossil fuel sources, along with increasing amounts of off-grid generation.
Modeling of Ozone Impacts of Oil and Gas Activities in the Uinta Basin
The phenomenon of wintertime smog at rural oil and gas sites in the Uinta Basin of Utah was the subject of the Uinta Basin Ozone Study (UBOS). With funding from the Western Energy Alliance, Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer of HARC conducted a modeling study of a 2013 ozone episode using the HARC microscale air quality model and a variety of observational measurements made at the Horsepool site (see accompanying photo) during the UBOS campaign. The conclusions drawn from the modeling study were as follows:
- Primary formaldehyde (HCHO) from oil and gas facilities and secondary nitrous acid (HONO) from snow surfaces may both play an important role in the cold ozone phenomenon in the Uinta Basin.
- Primary HCHO emissions in the Uinta Basin may be equivalent to the HCHO emissions of a large refinery.
- The flux of HONO from snow surfaces to air may be around 4.56 × 10-10 gs-1m-2.
Methane is a prevalent greenhouse gas. HARC is working with to review the EPA modeling approach, compile data regarding the sampled production sites, and investigate estimated site emissions.
With financial support from the Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer used the HARC microscale air quality model to assess the ozone impacts of oil and gas production facilities in the Eagle Ford Shale.
HARC is developing a detailed particulate matter (PM) 2.5 emissions inventory for Harris County, Texas. PM is a type pollution composed of a complex mixture of extremely small particles. The size of particles is linked to their potential for causing health-related problems.