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Permian Basin Geological Area

The Permian Basin is an oil-and-gas-producing area located in West Texas and the adjoining area of southeastern New Mexico. The Permian Basin covers an area approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long and is located in 61 Texas counties.

Background

The TCEQ’s primary role in the oil and gas fields is regulating emissions and ensuring air quality. Working with the Railroad Commission of Texas, which has primary jurisdiction over oil and gas facilities in Texas, the TCEQ is devoting significant resources to make sure those responsibilities are met. Based on lessons learned from the TCEQ’s work in other oil and gas producing areas, numerous activities have already been conducted or will soon take place to help the agency remain in front of any environmental issues in the Permian Basin area.

The TCEQ continues to use innovative approaches to find ‘real world solutions’ that actually reduce emissions. The TCEQ has undertaken numerous projects that use state-of-the-science technology to assess and address emissions from oil and gas activities. These initiatives have resulted in emissions reductions through improved agency policies, guidance for regulated entities and possible enforcement if necessary.

Air Monitoring

The Geographical Texas Air Quality Monitoring (GeoTAM)viewer can access information about air quality monitors, view and print maps of areas of interest, and obtain details about selected air monitors and their surrounding area.

Stationary Monitors

  • Odessa-Hays: the Odessa-Hays Elementary School data page provides VOC data and other information collected at the school.
  • Odessa Gonzales: near-real-time air monitor results from the agency’s Particulate Matter air monitor (2.5 micrometers or less in size) located at Odessa Gonzales Elementary School.
  • Big Spring: near-real-time air monitor results from the agency’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) air monitor located in Big Spring, 1218 N. Midway Rd.

Mobile Monitoring

In response to observed increases in oil and gas activity and reported emissions events across the Permian Basin Geological Area, the TCEQ conducted two mobile monitoring surveys for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Objectives for these surveys included identifying areas of elevated concentrations, or “hotspots”, for further investigations and identifying areas for potential stationary monitoring sites. Surveys focused on areas where concentrated sources of target compounds were in proximity to populated or publicly accessible areas, and included sources with a history of frequent emissions events or complaints. 

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