The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued a memorandum to its regional directors regarding the investigation of odor complaints lodged by the public from operations in the Barnett Shale. Some of the main points of the new policy are as follows:
All complaints will be given an "Immediate Response" priority and an on-site investigation will be conducted within 12 hours.
Information will be provided to the party submitting the complaint, including an affidavit form, a blank odor log, and a FIDO Chart (Frequency, Intensity, Duration, and Offensiveness) to fill out.
Staff will utilize equipment as appropriate to test for odor sources and equipment leaks and emissions.
If high readings are documented, the regional staff will contact the owner/operator company of the particular facility will receive the images or data from monitoring and an oil and gas questionnaire. The staff person will email the company.
The company will be given 12 hours to respond, including stating the cause of the emissions and corrective actions to resolve the situation.
If there are any hazardous conditions, the staff will immediately contact the company and request immediate action.
Operators in the Barnett Shale should familiarize themselves with this protocol and be prepared to address odor complaints and TCEQ investigations that may arise.