Environmental Group Finds High Level Of Acid Rain Chemical In Permian Basin Air

Environmental Integrity Project found elevated levels of sulfur dioxide around Odessa, in particular. It says that’s caused by natural gas “flaring,” weak oversight and energy companies not following federal clean air regulations.

By Alexandra HartMay 10, 2019 8:52 am, ,

The Permian Basin region, where oil and gas is produced, spans approximately 64,000 square miles. A new report from environmental advocacy group Environmental Integrity Project says that vast area is producing a lot more pollution than previously thought.

Ilan Levin, associate director of the group, says it has found abnormally high amounts of sulfur dioxide in the air.

“Sulfur dioxide is one of the key pollutants regulated by the federal Clean Air Act,” Levin says. “Acid rain: that was a term that was common in the 80s and 90s. That’s caused by sulfur dioxide pollution, and it’s a dangerous pollutant.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How sulfur dioxide can affect people’s health and the environment

– How Levin’s group discovered the pollution, and why it’s in the air

– How a lack of air monitors makes it hard to measure pollution

– What can be done to improve Permian Basin air quality


Written by Caroline Covington.