Study: Oil, gas drilling caused air pollution in West

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— A comprehensive analysis of emissions and ozone pollution in the Uintah Basin in eastern Utah concluded that the primary source is oil and gas operations.

The oil-field operations created about 99 percent of the volatile organic chemical emissions and about 70 percent of the nitrogen oxides emitted in the basin.

"It isn't surprising, this is a rural area," said Brock LeBaron, who managed the study for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Across the West — from Colorado's Front Range to Wyoming's Green River Basin — oil and gas operations have been linked to ozone pollution.

Ozone pollution has become a problem in the Uintah Basin, with levels in 2011 reaching 139 parts per billion, nearly double the federal health standard. About 1,100 wells were drilled that year.

Read the full story at The Denver Post's website.

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