The Town of Flower Mound's Environmental Resources staff continually monitors environmental factors and works with outside agencies to measure air quality throughout our community.
TCEQ Air Quality Monitoring System
View the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality AutoGC data.
Town of Flower Mound Air Quality Monitoring Program
The Town began conducting air monitoring in 2010 on a quarterly basis to assess the ambient air conditions adjacent to gas well operations and other areas in the Town. In 2011, the Town Council directed staff to implement monthly air monitoring at various sampling points in the Town. The Town Council approved the ongoing monthly air monitoring program for 2012 and 2013 to be conducted by Modern Geosciences.
In an effort to enhance the air monitoring program in 2014, the Town Council approved additional monitoring efforts for the year. The 2014 air monitoring program includes upwind and downwind padsite monitoring, near equipment monitoring, and continued ambient air monitoring at selected locations. Designated ambient sampling locations for 2014 include areas within or adjacent to gas well operations, including adjacent residential areas and/or LISD property. Sampling methods will be consistent with EPA and TCEQ sampling methods. The new monitoring program will effectively assess the conditions on the padsite and identify potential issues associated with the production equipment.
Please review the reports below for more information about the Town’s air monitoring program. Monthly reports for years 2013-2020 may be viewed by selecting the report year below. Files for the year are large and take a couple of minutes to download. The current year is listed by monthly inspections.
Kleinfelder Ambient Air Sampling Report - Fourth Quarter 2010
2010 Air Sampling Presentation
Gas Well Inspections
Town staff inspects the pad sites both regularly and on reported issues. For drilling, fracturing, and other operations that would qualify for an active site, the operations/pad sites are inspected approximately three times per week or more to monitor the operations. Town staff also conducts a thorough inspection once per month for each pad site in addition to periodically checking the pad sites throughout the month that are in production. The monthly inspection covers items such as having the required signage and correct emergency contact information, checking for any spills, maintenance of the perimeter of the site, landscaping, fencing/screening, road access, handheld air monitoring check, and noise monitoring for drilling, fracturing, and production/compression operations. The perimeter and pad site air quality check is conducted with a Toxic Vapor Analyzer (TVA). In addition to the site air quality check, the Town continues to conduct monthly air monitoring through a third party and the TCEQ air monitoring station continues to operate near the Fire Station at Shiloh Road and FM 1171.
Operators are typically given 30 days to resolve any minor issues or violations such as landscaping deficiencies or painting of equipment. Violations which are deemed a public or environmental safety hazard are reported to the operator immediately and to the appropriate state regulatory agency if necessary. Town staff will assess the issue with the operator to determine an appropriate course of action to be taken, at which point a deadline will be set. Non-compliance with the Town’s regulations results in a penalty, which can include citations or additional enforcement actions depending on the nature of the violation or non-compliance. If you have any questions after viewing the gas well status report and associated inspection summaries, please contact the Environmental Services staff at 972.874.6340.
Below are links to tables summarizing inspections performed at each pad site, since January 1, 2012.
TCEQ Air Quality Monitoring Station
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has located a state-of-the-art Automated Gas Chromatograph (AutoGC) monitoring station in Flower Mound. Testing for 46 different volatile organic compounds, including benzene, the monitor will also provide total non-methane VOC concentrations and meteorological data, which are important in analyzing air quality readings. The AutoGC, located at 4401 Shiloh Road near Fire Station #2, will generate hourly air quality monitoring results. Near real-time air quality readings and hourly averages from the station are available online. The TCEQ funds up to $250,000 for the equipment, installation, and the first year of operation, and an additional $100,000 per year thereafter for operation and maintenance.
TCEQ Barnett Shale Air Sampling Map
The Barnett Shale Viewer is a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality interactive mapping tool that displays that agency’s air sampling results throughout the Barnett Shale Geographical Area. Updated monthly by the fifth business day of the month, the viewer illustrates specific locations and the type of air quality monitoring that has been completed. Detailed monitoring reports from the samples are also available through the TCEQ website. Please visit the viewer for additional information.
Texas Department of Health Services Report Indicates No Evidence of Cancer Clusters in Flower Mound
The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) report identifies no evidence of cancer clusters within Flower Mound and brings closure to a 2010 cancer rate study conducted within the Town.
The report summarizes the results of the investigation that included the Flower Mound zip codes of 75022 and 75028. The study concluded that the number of childhood leukemia subtypes, childhood brain/CNS cancer subtypes, all-age leukemia subtypes, and all-age non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were within the expected ranges both for males and females. It was also noted that the number of female breast cancer cases found reported for these zip codes was statistically greater than what was expected, but the report indicated that the increase was likely explained by the rapid increase in the Flower Mound population during the times in which the data was collected.
Please review the 2011 report and a related Texas Department of State Health Services press release for additional information. The report updates previous analysis conducted in March 2010 by including more recent cancer data. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services report:
- The chances of a person developing cancer as a result of exposure to an environmental contaminant are slight. Most experts agree that exposure to pollution, occupational, and industrial hazards account for fewer than 10 percent of cancer cases, and it often takes time for cancer to develop as 10 to 40 years can go by between the exposure to a carcinogen and a the diagnosis of cancer.
- There was a slight elevation of female breast cancer. The previous March 2010 report indicated this increase was likely higher due to population growth and higher mammography use compared to Texas overall. The March 2011 report indicates the elevation in female breast cancer is most likely due to growth in population. Currently, research does not show a link between breast cancer risk and environmental pollutants, and there isn’t any established scientific link between breast cancer and benzene, the contaminant of chief concern to the Flower Mound community.
- As benzene has been shown to have an association with leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the investigation studied all-age leukemia subtypes; all-age non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; female breast cancer; and childhood brain/central nervous system (CNS) cancers. The report included complete statewide cancer data from the Texas Cancer Registry (TC) through 2008; however, DSHS also evaluated preliminary data for years 2008-2010 (as of March 2011).
- Flower Mound worked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to install a permanent Auto GC monitoring station within the Town in 2010. Recent reports from the station have revealed a 2011 benzene level average of 0.16 parts per billion. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s short-term Air Monitoring Comparison Value is 180 parts per billion.
- Flower Mound has implemented several measures to monitor benzene and air quality since 2010 including the purchase of mobile air quality testing equipment, the implementation of an independent monthly air quality testing program, with supplemental testing for sulfides and carbonyls as needed, and the hiring a full-time oil and gas inspector. This significant service level increase is being paid for by gas well operators via an approved increased permit fee.
For additional information regarding the TDSHS studies, please contact Brenda Mokry with the TDSHS Epidemiology Studies and Initiatives Branch at 512.776.3606.
TCEQ Air Sampling Reports
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) conducted air sampling tests on January 13, 2010, at various gas well locations within Flower Mound. The Town contacted TCEQ and requested the tests in December 2009. The site visits and sampling consisted of TCEQ representatives taking weather data and wind speed, using an infrared monitor to check for emissions, checking for total volatile organic compounds at the site. The TCEQ released a preliminary e-mail summary of the January 13, 2010, air quality monitoring activity on January 20, 2010, detailing the locations and times in which monitoring occurred, the types of tests and readings, weather conditions, and equipment utilized. The preliminary analysis produced results indicating no detectable concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC - benzene, toluene, methane, etc.) at the two test locations in Flower Mound. Additionally, infrared cameras did not detect emissions from the compressor engines and heater units other than those associated with normal operations.