Studies

STUDY QUICK LINKS:
Click on the name of any of the studies, and your browser will redirect to that study. Every study will include the following information – STUDY NAME, SUMMARY, FUNDING SOURCE, RESEARCH GROUPS, AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS, STUDY LOCATION, COMPLETION DATE, COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION. Please Note: some studies are government reports for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known. These studies will have a notation [ ].

1 FRAPPE – Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment
2 DISCOVER – AQ – Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality – Colorado Campaign
3 Routes to Sustainability for Natural Gas Development and Water and Air Resources in the Rocky Mountain Region; Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)
4 Characterization of Air Emissions from oil and gas on Colorado’s Front Range
5 Characterizing Air Emissions from Natural Gas Drilling and Well Completion Operations in Garfield County, Colorado
6 Quality of Life and Stress Effects in Communities with Oil and Gas development (QBC Study); Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
7 Maternal Exposure to Natural Gas Development Emissions and Congenital Heart Defects: A Case-Control Study; Funded by the American Heart Association (AHA)
8 Final Report for Site Screening Activities, Garfield County, CO
9 Potential Exposure-Related Health Effects of Oil and Gas Development: A White Paper
10 Community Health Risk Analysis of Oil and Gas Industry Impacts in Garfield County
11 Public Health Implications of Ambient Air Exposures to Volatile Organic Compounds as Measured in Rural, Urban, and Oil and Gas Development Areas
12 Public Health Implications of Ambient Air Exposures to Volatile Organic Compounds as Measured in Rural, Urban, and Oil and Gas Development Areas – an Analysis of 2008 Air Sampling Data
13 Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment
14 Human Health Risk Assessment of Air Emissions from Development of Unconventional Natural Gas Resources
15 Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective
16 An Exploratory Study of Air Quality near Natural Gas Operations
17 Endocrine Disruptors
18 Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado
19 Glenwood Springs Prenatal Report April 2014
20 Fort Collins Memorandum 2A Technical Support Document City of Fort Collins
21 Air Emissions Case Study Related to Oil and Gas Development in Erie, Colorado
22 Influence of oil and gas emissions on ambient atmospheric non-methane hydrocarbons in residential areas of Northeastern Colorado
23 Hydrocarbon Emissions Characterization in the Colorado Front Range: A Pilot Study
24 Source Signature of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from oil and natural gas operations in northeastern Colorado
25 Volatile Organic Compound Distributions during the NACHTT Campaign at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory: Influence of urban and natural Gas Resources
26 A new look at methane and nonmethane hydrocarbon emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Colorado Denver-Julesburg Basin
27 Analysis of BTEX Groundwater Concentrations from Surface Spills Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing Operations
28 Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback and Produced Waters Using Accurate Mass: Identification of Ethoxylated Surfactants
29 Distribution and Origin of Groundwater Methane in the Wattenberg Oil and Gas Field of Northern Colorado
30 Characterization of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water in Colorado: Implications for Water Treatment
31 A Framework for Identifying Organic Compounds of Concern in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Based on Their Mobility and Persistence in Groundwater

 

 



 

STUDY (1)
FRAPPE – Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment

SUMMARY
The objective of FRAPPE is to determine the factors that control ground level ozone on the Northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and improve the understanding of these processes so as to develop better models and support informed decision making. The FRAPPÉ field project was designed to investigate and quantify all factors contributing to air quality in the Colorado Front Range with a special focus on summertime ozone pollution. These factors include:

• Man-made emissions from human activities such as transportation,
energy generation, industry, oil and gas activities, and agriculture
• Natural emissions from vegetation and emissions from possible
wildfires
• Long-range transport of pollution from other western states or
cross-continental transport from Asia
• Downward transport of stratospheric air is another potential
source for ground level ozone

How all these sources together with the unique meteorology and flow patterns in the region contribute to ground level ozone was investigated. Ozone was a main focus, but measurements of particles, their chemical composition, size and optical properties to quantify particle pollution and its sources also were taken.

FUNDING SOURCE
State of Colorado, National Science Foundation

RESEARCH GROUPS
Collaborative effort between CDPHE, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, UC Berkeley, NASA, NOAA, and NCAR

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Gabi Pfister (NCAR), Frank Flocke (NCAR), Jim Crawford (NASA)

STUDY LOCATION
Front Range

COMPLETION DATE
8/16 2014 Publications expected in Summer and Fall 2015

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
https://www2.acd.ucar.edu/frappe

 
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STUDY (2)
DISCOVER – AQ – Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality – Colorado Campaign

SUMMARY
The Colorado campaign was the final stop in a series of 4 field studies. Previous studies were conducted in Baltimore-Washington, California’s San Joaquin Valley, and Houston. This Colorado campaign was closely coordinated with the FRAPPE study. A priority of the Colorado campaign was to target specific pollution sources in the Front Range area, ranging from urban emissions in the Denver metropolitan area to agricultural emissions centered in the Greeley area and the broad region of oil and gas extraction activity extending to the Northeast of Denver. This study produced an unprecedented level of detail for understanding air quality along the Front Range.

FUNDING SOURCE
NASA

RESEARCH GROUPS
Collaborative effort between CDPHE, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, UC Berkeley, NASA, NOAA, and NCAR

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Jim Crawford

STUDY LOCATION
Front Range

COMPLETION DATE
7/16 to 8/16 2014 Publications expected in Summer and Fall 2015

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.nasa.gov/larc/2014-discoveraq-campaign/#.VhXZ3rxi52N

 
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STUDY (3)
Routes to Sustainability for Natural Gas Development and Water and Air Resources in the Rocky Mountain Region; Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

SUMMARY
The mission of this Sustainability Research Network is to provide a logical, science- based framework for evaluating the environmental, economic, and social trade-offs between development of natural gas resources and protection of water and air resources and to convey the results of these evaluations to the public in a way that improves the development of policies and regulations governing natural gas and oil development.

The goal is to find the balance between maximizing the development of natural gas and oil resources – for the benefits of short-term reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from power generation and transportation, national energy independence, and national job growth – and minimizing damage to water and air resources and risks to human health.

FUNDING SOURCE
National Science Foundation AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network

RESEARCH GROUPS
Network of researchers from University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado School of Mines, NOAA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Michigan, California State Polytechnic University Pomona

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Joseph Ryan (University of Colorado Boulder)

STUDY LOCATION
Denver- Galesburg Basin

COMPLETION DATE
10/2012 to 9/2017
On-going publication of results (see completed studies). Publications specific to health expected to begin in early 2016.

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://airwatergas.org/

 
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STUDY (4)
Characterization of Air Emissions from oil and gas on Colorado’s Front Range

SUMMARY
This study characterizes volatile organic compound emissions from various phases of well development on Colorado’s Front Range.

FUNDING SOURCE
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado State University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Jeff Collett

STUDY LOCATION
Front Range

COMPLETION DATE
07/2013 to 06/2016

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/faculty/collett.php

 
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STUDY (5)
Characterizing Air Emissions from Natural Gas Drilling and Well Completion Operations in Garfield County, Colorado

SUMMARY
The goals of this study are to quantify emissions of chemical compounds during new well development; characterize how these chemical compounds disperse in the atmosphere downwind of the well site; and to produce a peer-reviewed, public dataset of high quality emissions data.

FUNDING SOURCE
Garfield County and oil and gas Industry

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado State University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Jeff Collett

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
10/2012 through 10/2015. Results may be delayed because of industry slowdown. Results likely will not be available until late 2016.

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.garfield-county.com/oil-gas/documents/energy-advisory-board/EAB-March-2014-Dr.%20Jeffrey%20Collett-Characterizing%20Air%20Emissions.pdf

 
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STUDY (6)
Quality of Life and Stress Effects in Communities with Oil and Gas development (QBC Study); Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

SUMMARY
This study will test the hypothesis that populations living in close proximity to oil and gas development experience decreased quality of life and measureable adverse changes in subclinical biomarkers of stress, cardiovascular health, and inflammation compared to populations without oil and gas development.

FUNDING SOURCE
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado State University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
John Adgate

STUDY LOCATION
Greeley, Fort Collins

COMPLETION DATE
10/2014 to 9/2016
Results expected to be published in 2016 to early 2017

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/PublicHealth/Academics/departments/EnvironmentalOccupationalHealth/about/Faculty/Pages/AdgateJ.aspx

 
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STUDY (7)
Maternal Exposure to Natural Gas Development Emissions and Congenital Heart Defects: A Case-Control Study; Funded by the American Heart Association (AHA)

SUMMARY
The major goal of this research is to investigate associations between different natural gas development phases and congenital heart disease.

FUNDING SOURCE
American Heart Association

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado School of Public Health

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Lisa McKenzie

STUDY LOCATION
Colorado oil and gas development areas

COMPLETION DATE
07/2014 to 6/2018
Results expected to be published starting in 2016 through 2018.

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/PublicHealth/Academics/departments/EnvironmentalOccupationalHealth/about/Faculty/Pages/LMcKenzie.aspx

 
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STUDY (8) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Final Report for Site Screening Activities, Garfield County, CO

SUMMARY
At the request of the Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance, the EPA and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment collected 20 ambient air samples at 7 locations around well sites in Garfield County and in Parachute, Colorado. The samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene was detected at concentrations greater than background in six samples. Toluene, xylene, and benzene were detected at concentrations exceeding background concentrations in samples collected 50 feet from a gas well with emission controls and at a gas well without emission controls. Benzene was detected above the concentration observed in the background sample at 3 additional locations 50 feet from gas wells without emission controls, as well as in a downwind sample collected in parachute. Benzene concentrations in all these samples exceeded EPA’s risk based screening level for residential air.

FUNDING SOURCE
EPA

RESEARCH GROUPS
Project Resources Inc (PRI) under contract to EPA Region VIII

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Michelle Smith

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2002

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
This Study is no longer accessible on the COGCC website.

 
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STUDY (9) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Potential Exposure-Related Health Effects of Oil and Gas Development: A White Paper

SUMMARY
This white paper reviews the available literature and preliminary study results of health status, as well as air and water quality as oil and gas drilling was increasing in Garfield County.

The authors conclude “Data necessary to completely assess the health and social impacts of the oil and gas industry are missing in all areas, including: population demographics, health status, psychological status, social measures, worker health, and environmental exposure. Further monitoring of both the community and the environment of Garfield County is essential. Action to decrease current chemical exposures of concern and improve monitoring should not be delayed. A Health Impact Assessment is an appropriate framework for relating exposure assessment to community health data and for making recommendations to mitigate adverse human health effects.”

FUNDING SOURCE
Colorado School of Public Health

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado School of Public Health

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Roxana Witter, Kaylan Stinson, Holly Sackett, Stefanie Putter, Gregory Kinney, Daniel Teitelbaum, Lee Newman

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2008

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
e-mail: Roxana.witter@ucdenver.edu

 
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STUDY (10) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Community Health Risk Analysis of Oil and Gas Industry Impacts in Garfield County

SUMMARY
In this early, unpublished study on the health implications possibly associated with oil and gas development, no environmental data was available for an evaluation of air, water, and soil contamination. A model was used to estimate benzene air concentrations, based on typical compositions of natural gas from the Piceance Basin. The study also compared the health of Garfield County residents to the health of Mesa, Delta, and Montrose County residents, where there was less oil and gas development. The authors concluded that there was not a health crisis in Garfield County, but some health trends should be monitored. They stated that it cannot be said conclusively that any of these health trends are directly related to the presence of the natural gas industry in Garfield County or other factors. The risk modeling indicated that there were oil and gas industry factors that could present a public health risk and that use of best practices could reduce that risk. The authors then make several recommendations.

FUNDING SOURCE
Garfield County Commissioners

RESEARCH GROUPS
Saccomanno Research Institute/ Mesa State College

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Teresa Coons and Russell Walker

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2008

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.garfield-county.com/public-health/documents/1._COMMUNITY_HEALTH_RISK_ANALYSIS-%28Complete_Report_16MB%29.pdf

 
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STUDY (11) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Public Health Implications of Ambient Air Exposures to Volatile Organic Compounds as Measured in Rural, Urban, and Oil and Gas Development Areas

SUMMARY
This Health Consultation was prepared by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Environmental Epidemiology Section in cooperation with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) with the purpose of identifying any potential public health implications resulting from the inhalation of volatile organic compounds in Garfield County Colorado and recommend actions to reduce exposure, if necessary. The health consultation concluded exposures to overall air pollution in Garfield County Colorado pose an indeterminate public health hazard. However, estimated excess lifetime cancer risks and non-cancer hazards from air pollution measured at a monitoring site within the oil and gas development area of Western Garfield County were significantly higher than those in typical urban and rural areas, causing some potential concern. The elevated levels are an indicator of the increased potential for health effects related to benzene exposure in the oil and gas development area. There is uncertainty in future exposures because of rapid growth in population and the oil and gas industry and it was concluded future exposures were an indeterminate public health hazard.

FUNDING SOURCE
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

RESEARCH GROUPS
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Shannon Rossiter

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2008

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/Garfield_County_HC_3-13-08/Garfield_County_HC_3-13-08.pdf

 
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STUDY (12) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Public Health Implications of Ambient Air Exposures to Volatile Organic Compounds as Measured in Rural, Urban, and Oil and Gas Development Areas – an Analysis of 2008 Air Sampling Data

SUMMARY
This Health Consultation was prepared by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Environmental Epidemiology Section in cooperation with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) with the purpose of identifying any potential public health hazards with respect to ambient air pollution in Garfield County’s oil and gas development area. The 2008 ambient air quality monitoring study found that some of the primary non-methane organic hydrocarbons associated with oil and gas emission sources were higher in rural Garfield County than in other urban areas. The health consultation concluded that it could not be determined if breathing ambient air in the oil and gas development area of Garfield County could harm people’s health because cancer risks and non-cancer hazards could not be quantitatively estimated for 65 out of 86 pollutants detected in the ambient air samples. Based on the 21 pollutants for which cancer risks and non-cancer hazards could be estimated, a low increased excess lifetime cancer risk and low increased risk of developing long-term (chronic) and short-term (acute) non-cancer health effects are indicated. The consultation points out that there is insufficient data for assessment of short-term health effects and that cumulative health effects from the mixture of pollutants.

FUNDING SOURCE
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

RESEARCH GROUPS
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Shannon Rossiter, Raj Goyal

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2010

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/GarfieldCountyColorado2010/GarfieldCountyColoradoHC08262010.pdf

 
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STUDY (13)
Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment

SUMMARY
Using previously existing data, the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) addressed the public implications of a proposed natural gas development project that was planned for Battlement Mesa, a community of approximately 5000 residents in Western Garfield County. The principle findings of the HIA were that natural gas development may expose local residents to air and water contamination, industrial noise and traffic, and community changes. The authors made more than 90 recommendations for preventing or decreasing health impacts associated with these exposures.
The results of the HIA, along with a reflection of lessons learned, were published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2013: Witter, R et. al. “The Use of Health Impact Assessment for a Community Undergoing Natural Gas Development, June 2013, Vol. 103, No. 6, pp. 1002-1010.

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2012.301017?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed

FUNDING SOURCE
Garfield County Commissioners

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado School of Public Health

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Roxana Witter, Lisa McKenzie, Kaylan Stinson, Kenneth Scott, Lee Newman, John Adgate

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2011

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.garfield-county.com/environmental-health/battlement-mesa-health-impact-assessment-ehms.aspx

 
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STUDY (14)
Human Health Risk Assessment of Air Emissions from Development of Unconventional Natural Gas Resources

SUMMARY
This is the publication of the human health risk assessment that was performed in support of the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment. The results indicated potential neurological and respiratory effects from relatively short-term exposures to high air emissions of alkanes, trimethylbenzenes, and xylenes during well completions. The results also indicated a higher cancer risk for those nearest the wells from air emissions of benzene. The authors conclude that the residents living nearest to the proposed natural gas wells would be at greatest risk for health effects from natural gas development and that the preliminary results indicate that health effects resulting from air emissions during unconventional natural gas development warrant further study.

FUNDING SOURCE
Colorado School of Public Health

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado School of Public Health

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Lisa McKenzie, Roxana Witter, Lee Newman, John Adgate

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2012

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969712001933
or e-mail lisa.mckenzie@ucdenver.edu to request a copy

 
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STUDY (15)
Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective

SUMMARY
This published study compiled a list of 632 chemicals that had been used in natural gas operations across the United States and then performed literature searches on the health effects that could be associated with each chemical. The study did not address the potential for communities to be exposed to the chemicals, the concentration of the chemicals, or where and when the chemicals were used. Health information was found for 353 of the chemicals, with most of these chemicals having some effect on the skin, eyes and other sensory organs, as well as the gastrointestinal systems. Other affected systems included the nervous immune, cardiovascular, kidney, and endocrine systems. 25% of the chemicals could cause cancer or mutations. The authors conclude by recommending full disclosure of all contents of all products, extensive air and water monitoring, environmental/health studies, and regulation of fracturing under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act.

FUNDING SOURCE
US EPA

RESEARCH GROUPS
TDEX, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Theo Colborn, Carol Kwiatkowski, Kim Schultz, Mary Bachran

STUDY LOCATION
U.S.

COMPLETION DATE
2011

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://endocrinedisruption.org/chemicals-in-natural-gas-operations/journal-article

 
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STUDY (16)
An Exploratory Study of Air Quality near Natural Gas Operatons

SUMMARY
This published exploratory study assessed air quality on a ranch in rural Western Colorado before, during, and after development of a natural gas well pad with closed-loop system. The study found the number and concentrations of non-methane hydrocarbons to be highest during the drilling phase. A literature search of the health effects of the non-methane hydrocarbons revealed that many had multiple health effects. Methylene chloride was detected in most of the samples, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. However, the study design could not show that methylene chloride and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were associated with natural gas development. The authors conclude that the human and environmental health impacts of the non-methane hydrocarbons should be examined further give that the natural gas industry is operating in close proximity to human residences and public lands.

FUNDING SOURCE
Winslow Foundation, Cornell Douglas Foundation, New-Land Foundation, Arkansas Community Trust, Private Donor

RESEARCH GROUPS
TDEX, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Theo Colborn, Kim Schultz, Lucille Herrick, Carol Kwiatkowski

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2012

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://endocrinedisruption.org/chemicals-in-natural-gas-operations/air-pollution

 
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STUDY (17)
Endocrine Disruptors

SUMMARY
This published study evaluated estrogen and androgen receptor activities in human cells exposed to some of the chemicals used in natural gas drilling operations, as well as surface and ground water samples collected from a drilling dense region in Garfield County Colorado. A chemical that can cause estrogen and androgen receptor activity in a cell may be an endocrine disruptor – that is it may be able to interfere with normal hormone activity in people. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (also known as EDCs) have been linked with several health effects including decreased fertility, cancer, and impaired development of sexual organs. The study found that some of the chemicals used in natural gas development, as well as most water samples collected from the drilling dense region, showed estrogen or androgen activity in the human cells. The authors conclude that natural gas drilling operations may result in elevated EDC activity in groundwater and surface water.

FUNDING SOURCE
Passport Science Innovation Fund, University of Missouri, and US EPA

RESEARCH GROUPS
University of Missouri

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Christopher Kassotis, Donald Tillitt, Wade Davis, Annette Hormann, Susan Nagel

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2013

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://medicine.missouri.edu/news/docs/en.2013-1697.full.pdf

 
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STUDY (18)
Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado

SUMMARY
This published study examined associations between a mother’s proximity to natural gas wells and several adverse birth outcomes in her infant. Approximately 125,000 births that occurred in rural Colorado between 1996 and 2009 were examined. These preliminary results indicate that mothers with the greatest density of gas wells around their homes have a 30% greater chance of giving birth to an infant with a congenital heart defect, compared to mothers with no gas wells around their homes. There also was an indication of a risk chance of having an infant with a neural tube defect. No positive associations were observed for other birth outcomes (oral clefts, low birth weight, and preterm birth). The authors conclude that these results and current trends in natural gas development underscore the importance of conducting more comprehensive and rigorous research on the potential health effects of natural gas development.

FUNDING SOURCE
Colorado School of Public Health

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado School of Public Health

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Lisa McKenzie, Ruixin Guo, Roxana Witter, David Savitz, Lee Newman, John Adgate

STUDY LOCATION
Rural Colorado

COMPLETION DATE
2014

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1306722/

 
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STUDY (19) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Glenwood Springs Prenatal Report April 2014

SUMMARY
This CDPHE led investigation was not a study on the association between prenatal anomalies and oil and gas development and it should not be considered a study on oil and gas development. It is listed here because it has often been incorrectly cited by others as a study on birth defects and oil and gas development.

CDPHE conducted this investigation in response to an apparent unusual number of prenatal ultrasounds showing very rare congenital anomalies (22 cases) at two clinics in Glenwood Springs Colorado. After reviewing the medical charts, as well as geocoding and mapping the mother’s home address at the time of conception, of all the cases showing congenital anomalies from these two clinics, the CDPHE found no common geographic risk or location that was common among the majority of cases. The majority of the cases did not live near oil and gas wells, have a common drinking water source, or live in the same area. They conclude that there is not one single environmental or genetic or substance-related factor that explained the rare prenatal outcomes observed in the two clinics and recommended that the two clinics continue to monitor for the rare prenatal outcomes.

FUNDING SOURCE
CDPHE

RESEARCH GROUPS
CDPHE Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
CDPHE Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs

STUDY LOCATION
Garfield County

COMPLETION DATE
2014

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2014/0502/20140502_123431_Glenwood-Springs-Prenatal-Report.pdf

 
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STUDY (20) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Fort Collins Memorandum 2A Technical Support Document City of Fort Collins

SUMMARY
The City of Fort Collins commissioned three reports to assess the availability of data needed to fully study the impacts of HF on property values and human health and to identify baseline air quality conditions at the Fort Collins oil field. Key findings:
Drinking water in Fort Collins is not currently contaminated by oil and gas extraction;
Breathing chemicals released to air would be the most likely way a person could exposed to chemicals emitted from oil and gas extraction. These chemicals could include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes.
Fort Collins residents’ current exposure to the hazardous components from hydraulic fracturing and oil production in water and soil is likely very limited or non-existent due to limited oil and gas drilling or HF in the City limits
In a short-term study of ambient air at the Fort Collins field there was no significant difference between concentrations of measured air pollutants between the oil and gas sites and the urban sites. None of the measured air pollutants were measured at levels of concern that would warrant further study.

FUNDING SOURCE
City of Fort Collins

RESEARCH GROUPS
Terra Mentis Environmental Consulting
Hunsperger & Weston

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Stephen Foster

STUDY LOCATION
Fort Collins

COMPLETION DATE
2015

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.fcgov.com/oilandgas/pdf/Councilmemo_043015.pdf

http://www.fcgov.com/oilandgas/pdf/FtCollinsSupportDocument_TerraMentisFinal_Feb2015.pdf

http://www.fcgov.com/oilandgas/pdf/HunspergerReport-8-1-14.pdf

http://www.fcgov.com/oilandgas/pdf/FCAirQualityProject_DataReport_FINAL.pdf

 
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STUDY (21) [*This study is a government report, for which the level of peer/scientific review is not known.]
Air Emissions Case Study Related to Oil and Gas Development in Erie, Colorado

SUMMARY
Air Emissions Case Study Related to Oil and Gas Development in Erie, Colorado

FUNDING SOURCE
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Air Pollution Control Division Technical Services Program

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Air Pollution Control Division Technical Services Program

STUDY LOCATION
Erie

COMPLETION DATE
2012

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/tech_doc_repository.aspx?action=open&file=Erie+Air+Emissions+Case+Study+2012+-+revised+11252014.pdf

 
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STUDY (22)
Influence of oil and gas emissions on ambient atmospheric non-methane hydrocarbons in residential areas of Northeastern Colorado

SUMMARY
This published study measured concentrations of ambient atmospheric non-methane hydrocarbons present in residential areas located in close proximity to oil and gas wells in Erie, Colorado and elevated these sample results along with results from Platteville and Denver, Colorado. The study found that air concentrations of C2-C5 alkanes in the Erie samples were 18-77 times higher than the regional background and were higher than levels typically found in large urban areas. Overall, the C2-C5 alkanes are elevated across Colorado’s Northern Front Range, with the highest concentration in the Greater Wattenberg Gas Field. While C2-C5 alkanes are not very toxic, they do contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone is priority air pollutant that can affect the respiratory system. The study also found benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene air concentrations in the Erie samples to be comparable to or lower than those in large urban areas. However, benzene and toluene concentrations were significantly higher in the Platteville samples, with oil and natural gas emissions the primary source of these compounds. Benzene is a known human carcinogen. Yearly mean benzene concentrations in both the Erie samples and Platteville samples exceeded the U.S. EPA 1 in 100,000 excess lifetime cancer risk threshold. Finally, the study found that ambient air levels of non-methane hydrocarbons in Erie and Boulder appear to beincreasing. The authors conclude that these findings and the continuing development of oil and gas along Colorado’s Northern Front Range provide a strong argument for the continued atmospheric monitoring of this region in coming years.

FUNDING SOURCE
Patagonia, National Science Foundation

RESEARCH GROUPS
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Chelsea Thompson, Jacques Hueber, Detlev Helmig

STUDY LOCATION
Erie, Platteville, Northern Front Range

COMPLETION DATE
2014

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.elementascience.org/article/info:doi/10.12952/journal.elementa.000035

 
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STUDY (23)
Hydrocarbon Emissions Characterization in the Colorado Front Range: A pilot Study

SUMMARY
This published study analyzed measurements of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons collected at the NOAA Boulder Atmospheric Observatory in Erie Colorado and during automobile based surveys. The study found that air masses in Northeastern Colorado are influenced by oil and gas operations in northeastern Colorado and show a strong alkane and benzene signatures. This could be explained by a mix of venting emissions and leaks of raw natural gas and flashing emissions for condensate storage tanks. The authors conclude that current inventories of methane emissions from oil and gas operations in northeastern Colorado are likely underestimated in emission inventories by a factor of two.

FUNDING SOURCE
NOAA

RESEARCH GROUPS
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado
NOAA

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Gabrielle Petron, Gregory Frost, Benjamin Miller, Adam Hirsch, et. al.

STUDY LOCATION
Denver-Julesburg Basin

COMPLETION DATE
2012

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://cires1.colorado.edu/jimenez/AtmChem/2013/2012_JGR_Petron_HCs_Front_Range.pdf

 
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STUDY (24)
Source Signature of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from oil and natural gas operations in northeastern Colorado

SUMMARY
This published study measured volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in samples collected at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory located in Erie in winter 2011 to investigate the composition and influence of VOC emissions from oil and gas operations in Northeastern Colorado. The study found VOC source signatures associated with oil and gas operations could be clearly differentiated from urban sources dominated by vehicular exhaust. VOCs emitted from oil and gas operations were evident at all three measurement sites in northeastern Colorado. The authors conclude that oil and gas operations in northeastern Colorado during the wintertime study were the main source of C2-C8 alkanes, which are ozone precursors, and a minor source of C6-C8 aromatics, which include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes observed in the samples collected at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory.

FUNDING SOURCE
NOAA Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate and Health of the Atmosphere and USDA

RESEARCH GROUPS
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado
NOAA

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
J.B. Gilman, B.M. Lerner, W.C. Kuster, J.A. de Gouw

STUDY LOCATION
Front Range

COMPLETION DATE
2013

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es304119a

 
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STUDY (25)
Volatile Organic Compound Distributions during the NACHTT Campaign at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory: Influence of urban and natural Gas Resources

SUMMARY
This published study measured a suite of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory in Erie, Colorado. The study observed light alkane air concentrations were an order of magnitude greater than background concentrations. Regional natural gas production activities were implicated as the source of the elevated VOCs. Elevated acetonitrile and dimethyl sulfide also were observed.

FUNDING SOURCE
National Science Foundation

RESEARCH GROUPS
Appalachian State University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Robert Swarthout, Rachel Russo, Yong Zhou, Andrew Hart, Barkley Sive

STUDY LOCATION
Front Range

COMPLETION DATE
2013

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50722/full

 
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STUDY (26)
A new look at methane and nonmethane hydrocarbon emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Colorado Denver-Julesburg Basin

SUMMARY
This published study measured methane and non-methane hydrocarbon air emissions in the most densely drilled area of the Denver-Julesburg Basin. The study found that methane emission rates from oil and gas sources were almost 3 times higher than the rate used in the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program for 2012. VOC emission rates were twice that predicted in the state inventory for oil and gas activities; benzene emission rates were 7 times higher than in the state inventory. The authors conclude that this type of research is a necessary component for evaluation of emission inventories and emission reduction programs and call for more top-down studies.

FUNDING SOURCE
Environment Defense Fund, NOAA, National Science Foundation AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network

RESEARCH GROUPS
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado
NOAA

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Gabrielle Petron, Anna Karion, Colm Sweeny, Benjamin Miller, et. al.

STUDY LOCATION
Denver-Julesburg Basin

COMPLETION DATE
2015

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JD021272/pdf

 
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STUDY (27)
Analysis of BTEX Groundwater Concentrations from Surface Spills Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

SUMMARY
This published study analyzed data reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conversation Commission (COGCC) regarding surface spills that impacted groundwater at oil and gas sites in Weld County, Colorado. From July 2010 to July 2011, 77 surface spills impacting groundwater in Weld County were reported. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene groundwater concentrations exceeded National Drinking Water Maximum Contamination Levels (MCLs) in 90, 30, 12, and 8% of the spills, respectively. Remediation of the spills was effective at reducing BTEX levels in 84% of the spills. The authors conclude that surface spills are an important route of potential groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing activities and should be a focus of programs to protect groundwater.

FUNDING SOURCE
ChemRisk

RESEARCH GROUPS
ChemRisk

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Sherilyn Gross, Heather Avens, Amber Banducci, Jennifer Sahmel, Julie Panko, Brook Tvermoes

STUDY LOCATION
Weld County

COMPLETION DATE
2013

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10962247.2012.759166

 
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STUDY (28)
Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback and Produced Waters Using Accurate Mass: Identification of Ethoxylated Surfactants

SUMMARY
This is not a health or toxicity study. It is included here because it has been incorrectly represented as a toxicity study in the media. This published study developed methods for the measurement of surfactants in hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water. The methods were then used to “fingerprint” surfactants in a series of flowback and produced water samples. Surfactants are one type out of many types of chemicals that may be used in hydraulic fracturing. They include ethylene oxides, glycols, and ethoxylates. This study did not evaluate the toxicity of these chemicals and it did not measure all the chemicals that may have been present in the flowback and produced water samples.

FUNDING SOURCE
Agilent Technologies, Borch Hoppess Fund for Environmental Contaminant Research
Protreat Technology Corp., EPA, Halliburton, and an unidentified drilling company supplied flowback and produced water samples

RESEARCH GROUPS
University of Colorado,
Colorado State University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
E. Michael Thurman, Imma Ferrer, Jen Blotevogel, Thomas Borch

STUDY LOCATION
Denver Julesburg Basin, Barnett Shale in Texas, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Louisiana

COMPLETION DATE
2014

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.environmentalhistory.org/billkovarik/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FrackingStudy.pdf

 
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STUDY (29)
Distribution and Origin of Groundwater Methane in the Wattenberg Oil and Gas Field of Northern Colorado

SUMMARY
This published study analyzed groundwater methane data collected in response to a new regulation in Colorado. Dissolve methane was detected in 78% of 176 water wells. Most of this methane was found to come from microbes. Neither density of oil and gas wells nor distance to wells had a significant impact on the methane concentration, suggesting other factors may be important in the generation and distribution of the methane. Thermogenic methane was detected in 2 water wells, indicating a potential contamination pathway from the oil and gas formation.

FUNDING SOURCE
Colorado Department of Natural Resources

RESEARCH GROUPS
Colorado State University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Huishu Li, Kenneth Carlson

STUDY LOCATION
Denver Galesburg Basin

COMPLETION DATE
2014

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://cewc.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Methane-in-Wattenberg-article.pdf

 
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STUDY (30)
Characterization of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water in Colorado: Implications for Water Treatment

SUMMARY
This published study performed an extensive analysis on the chemical composition of oil and gas flowback water from one well in the Denver Julesburg basin of Colorado with the purpose of using the results to propose effective treatment for recycling flowback water. The study found that flowback water contained salts, metals (e.g. arsenic, barium, lithium, strontium), and dissolved organic matter (e.g. surfactants, acetic acid), as well as several organic compounds (e.g. acetone, 2-butanone, xylenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, and phthalates).

FUNDING SOURCE
National Science Foundation AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network

RESEARCH GROUPS
University of Colorado Boulder, USGS

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Yaal Lester, Imma Ferrer, Michael Thurman, Kurban Sitterley, Julie Korak, George Aiken, Karl Linden

STUDY LOCATION
Denver Galesburg Basin

COMPLETION DATE
2015

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969715000583

 
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STUDY (31)
A Framework for Identifying Organic Compounds of Concern in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Based on Their Mobility and Persistence in Groundwater

SUMMARY
This published study developed a framework for determining to which chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing people could most likely be exposed, based on their mobility and persistence in groundwater, as well as their toxicity and frequency of use in hydraulic fracturing. The study identified 15 compounds with an elevated exposure potential. Two of these (naphthalene and 2-butoxyethanol) were listed on > 20% and 4 (N,N-dimethylformamide, 2-ethylhexanol, 2-mercaptoethanol, polysorbate 80) were listed on > 5% of FracFocus reports. The remaining chemicals listed a < 5% of report include acrylamide, ethylbenzene, xylenes, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, 1,4-dioxane, and 1-butanol)

FUNDING SOURCE
National Science Foundation AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network, EPA

RESEARCH GROUPS
University of Colorado Boulder, California State Polytechnic University

AUTHORS/PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS
Jessica Rogers, Troy Burke, Stephen Osborn,
Joseph Ryan

STUDY LOCATION
National

COMPLETION DATE
2015

COPY OF STUDY OR MORE INFORMATION
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.estlett.5b00090

 
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