The Department of Environmental Quality says it’s not clear whether they will continue monitoring air quality in Converse County after this year.
DEQ began the monitoring about a year ago, because of public concern about emissions from oil and gas development. So far, their data does not indicate any violations of air quality standards but there have been several days with high pollution levels. The agency’s Cara Keslar says they’ll probably move the monitoring station to another location after they’ve collected a full year of data.
“These monitors cost, you know, several hundred thousand dollars. So it’s really hard to put a monitor everywhere and leave it there long-term,” Keslar says.
DEQ has only three mobile monitoring stations for the whole state. Keslar says if their initial year of data showed high pollution levels, they would consider leaving a monitor in place. But she says that almost never happens.
Environmental groups argue that it’s important to keep monitoring air quality, because of increasing oil and gas production in the area.