Do air emissions from compressor stations pose serious health risks?

|
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
 2 views
of 19

Please download to get full document.

View again

Description
Do air emissions from compressor stations pose serious health risks?. Pipeline Safety Trust Conference November 21, 2008 Chris Nidel, MS, JD. Serious? Risk?. serious |ˈsi(ə)rēəs| adjective 1 (of a person) solemn or thoughtful in character or manner : her face grew serious.
Share
Transcript
Do air emissions from compressor stations pose serious health risks?
  • Pipeline Safety Trust Conference
  • November 21, 2008
  • Chris Nidel, MS, JD
  • Serious? Risk?
  • serious|ˈsi(ə)rēəs| adjective
  • 1 (of a person) solemn or thoughtful in character or manner : her face grew serious.
  • • (of a subject, state, or activity) demanding careful consideration or application : marriage is a serious matter.
  • • (of thought or discussion) careful or profound : we give serious consideration to safety recommendations.
  • • (of music, literature, or other art forms) requiring deep reflection and inviting a considered response : he bridges the gap between serious and popular music.
  • 2 acting or speaking sincerely and in earnest, rather than in a joking or halfhearted manner : suddenly he wasn't teasing any more—he was deadly serious | actors who are serious about their work.
  • 3 significant or worrying because of possible danger or risk; not slight or negligible : she escaped serious injury.
  • risk |risk|noun
  • a situation involving exposure to danger
  • the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen
  • Air Emissions of Concern
  • Formaldehyde - Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen (NTP), genotoxic
  • Acetaldehyde - Reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen (NTP), genotoxic
  • Acrolein - weakly positive for genotoxic assays
  • PM - respiratory toxicant, cardiac disease
  • NOx, Methane, CO, CO2, - asthma, secondary particulates, greenhouse gases, etc.
  • Dose Makes the Poison?
  • General premise of toxicology that the dose makes the poison
  • The idea is that many things are toxic at some dose
  • However, not all doses of toxic substances have toxic effect
  • Poison Makes the Dose?
  • How general is the general premise?
  • Very little is known about synergistic and compound exposures.
  • Children and other populations may be significantly more susceptible to exposures at the same dose
  • Exposures to genotoxic compounds do not play by the rules
  • Cancer, Genotoxins, and No-threshold Effects
  • Genotoxicity is the presumed mechanism of many carcinogens
  • Theoretically, one molecule of a genotoxic compound (e.g. formaldehyde, acetaldehyde) can cause a mutation --> leading to cancer
  • This theoretical possibility leads to the conclusion that there is no “safe” exposure to genotoxins or carcinogens
  • This means that any exposure creates cancer risk
  • Compressor StationTransco 130 - Comer, GA
  • “Actual” emissions estimated using emissions factors from the EPA
  • Emissions Estimates for Compressor Station
  • NOx, CO, and total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions based on testing done in the early 1990’s.
  • VOC component of the THC estimated by EPA database, approximated at 9.31%
  • The “actual” emissions for specific VOCs then estimated using the EPA AP-42 emissions factors
  • Emissions Estimates for Compressor Station
  • NOx, CO, and total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions subject to uncertainty
  • Testing is ~15 years old
  • No information regarding overhaul status or age of equipment at testing vs. current performance
  • VOCs not tested directly
  • EPA’s SPECIATE database is subject to uncertainty in converting THC to VOCs
  • AP-42 Emissions factors used to get individual VOC emissions is limited and may significantly underestimate actual emissions
  • Compressor Age at Transco Station 130AP-42 and Uncertainty
  • Canadian study looked at emission from a petroleum refinery
  • Direct testing of emissions using laser based “DIAL” testing
  • Generated an emissions inventory for facility operations and compared to inventory based on AP-42 estimates
  • DIAL measurements showed actual VOC emissions almost 15X AP-42 estimates
  • Dial measurements showed actual benzene emissions 18X AP-42 estimates
  • Emissions vs. Exposure
  • Emissions estimates in tons/year need to be translated into concentrations such as ppm, ppb, or ug/m3
  • This is typically done using an air disperson model
  • Air Dispersion Modeling
  • Resulting model is only as good as the inputs, remember, garbage in equals garbage out
  • The emission rates of the pollutants of concern are the most important inputs to the model for its accuracy
  • Also dependent on climatological variables, wind speeds and direction, temperatures, and pressures
  • What We Don’t Know About the Health Risk
  • Uncertainty in actual emissions from facility
  • AP-42 may significantly underestimate or mischaracterize the actual emissions
  • Transco test data may not be representative of current emissions
  • TPH emissions may not be accurately represented by the EPA database
  • No estimates of exposure or dose information from an air dispersion model or equivalent
  • No understanding of individual susceptibilities downwind of the station
  • No appreciable understanding of synergistic or compound risk from multiple exposures
  • What We DO Know About the Health Risk
  • Cancer risk begins even at low exposures
  • Cancer risk for children is estimated at 10-100X the risk for adults at the same exposure
  • Respiratory and other effects of exposure to these VOCs may occur at low exposures (e.g. formaldehyde effects in FEMA trailers)
  • Formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and benzene (carcinogens or reasonably anticipated to be) are released in significant quantities
  • PM and greenhouse gases present both regional and global health risks
  • Is There a Serious Health Risk?
  • There certainly is some risk based on what is known.
  • How serious is that risk?
  • We need a better understanding of the uncertainties that we have identified before we can qualify or quantify the risk
  • Should start with improving our understanding of the actual emissions rates
  • And then use these inputs in an air dispersion model
  • Without Knowing What the Risk Is...
  • The surrounding public should not be subjected to the industry’s experiment - the industry should bear the burden of showing that there is no risk.
  • Currently regulations require almost no control on these emissions - permits merely report emissions
  • older and higher polluting equipment is effectively grandfathered - similar to coal-fired power plants
  • Significant improvements in emissions could be achieved by installing new compressors and:
  • Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCRs) - to reduce NOx emissions
  • Catalytic oxidation equipment to reduce carbon monoxide emissions (yielding more CO2 however)
  • Conclusions
  • Hazardous emissions from compressor stations have been largely overlooked by current regulations
  • Regulatory programs must be improved to address the “loophole”
  • Short of regulatory programs, pipeline operators should take steps to minimize the threat to neighboring populations as well as the regional and global environment by:
  • better understanding emissions and associated risks
  • upgrading to modern compressors with control equipment
  • increasing the use of engineering controls, such as enclosing compressor facilities and treating or scrubbing compressor emissions
  • Related Search
    We Need Your Support
    Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

    Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

    No, Thanks