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Ohio Utica Shale

Here's how to fix methane leaks at fracking sites

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 8, 2013

Methane leaks threaten to undermine the environmental benefits of fracking natural gas, reports Brad Plumer at The Washington Post's WonkBlog.

Plumer offers suggestions on how to fix the leaks: "Notice that there’s no definitive number for how much methane is actually leaking. 'There’s a lot of variability in these studies,' explains James Bradbury, one of the co-authors of the WRI paper, in an interview. 'It can vary from region to region, from basin to basin. It often depends on the operators involved.'

"And the current estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency that leakage is only around 2.4 percent is essentially an educated guess, based on a number of assumptions rather than direct measurements.

"So, as a first step to getting a handle on this problem, the paper recommends that the EPA develop much more comprehensive measurements of actual leakage. That won’t be easy — there are half a million natural-gas wells around the country, and hundreds of thousands of miles of pipeline — but it’s a key first step."

The full story is here.

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