HEI Research Planning Workshop: Understanding Population-Level Exposures Related to the Development of Oil and Natural Gas from Unconventional Resources, July 11-12, 2018

July 11, 2018 to July 12, 2018

The purpose of HEI’s Energy Research Program is to identify and conduct high priority research on the potential population exposures and health effects from the onshore development of oil and natural gas from shale and other unconventional resources (UOGD) across the United States.

The workshop provided an opportunity for the Energy Research Committee to hear from a broad range of stakeholders about their expert opinions and perspectives on the literature, important knowledge gaps, and research priorities along with the criteria used to define the priorities. The Committee will consider information received during the workshop as it conducts its own review of the literature and formulates research priorities for population-level exposure research.


Introductions and Workshop Overview

Jul. 11, 2018 - 10:30am

10:30 AM Welcome

  • Robert O'Keefe

    Health Effects Institute

10:35 AM Introductions

10:50 AM Committee's Approach to Literature Review and Research Planning

11:10 AM Brief Description of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

Overview of Exposure Assessment Literature

Jul. 11, 2018 - 11:20am

Moderator: Judy LaKind

11:20 AM NIOSH Research of Occupational Exposures in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry

11:50 AM Community Exposures Near Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

Industry Trends and Related Research

Jul. 11, 2018 - 1:15pm

1:15 PM Overview of Air Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Gas Operations

1:45 PM MSEEL - The Marcellus Shale Engineering and Environmental Laboratory

Perspectives on Regulatory Trends

Jul. 11, 2018 - 2:15pm

Moderator: Robert O'Keefe

Panel discussion with Martha Rudolph, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment; Michael Honeycutt, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; Nichole Saunders, Environmental Defense Fund. 

Group Exercise #1

Jul. 11, 2018 - 3:00pm
Speaker: All Workshop Participants

Group Exercise #1: What criteria should be used to prioritize research recommendations?

Air Quality Literature

Jul. 11, 2018 - 3:45pm

Moderator: Armistead (Ted) Russell

3:45 PM Emissions from Upstream Oil and Gas Operations in the United States: Key Questions for Health Assessments

4:15 PM Emissions and Near-field Dispersion of Air Toxics from Oil and Gas Drilling, Completions, and Production in Colorado

4:45 PM Barnett Shale Revisited: Plan for Exposure Assessment of Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Gas Development and Production

Recap from Previous Day

Jul. 12, 2018 - 8:00am

8:00 AM Day 1 Recap

Water Quality Literature

Jul. 12, 2018 - 8:10am

8:10 AM Overview of Potential Water-related Human Exposures

8:25 AM Highlights from Recent Research on Surface and Ground Water Quality

8:55 AM Advancing Research on Oil and Gas Produced Water

9:15 AM Groundwater Quality and Hydraulic Fracturing: Current Understanding and Science Needs

Group Exercise #2

Jul. 12, 2018 - 10:00am
Speaker: All Workshop Participants

Group Exercise #2: What potential human exposure would you study if you were given $2 million for research?

Human Health Risk Assessment

Jul. 12, 2018 - 10:40am

10:40 AM Acute and Chronic Health Risks Estimated from Ambient Non-methane Levels in Colorado's Oil and Gas Basins

11:10 AM CDPHE's Assessment of Human Health Risk


Jul. 12, 2018 - 11:40am
Speaker: Donna Vorhees

Next steps in research planning and opportunities for continued participation.

Participant Posters

Workshop participants received an invitation to display posters at the Workshop. The following posters were displayed throughout the Workshop. There was no formal poster presentation session.

Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil and natural gas activities in several U.S. shale basins

  • Gilman et al., 2018

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Aerodyne Research Inc.; University of Calgary

An energizing new program to address public health concerns of oil and gas development in Colorado

Assessment of potential public health effects from oil and gas operations in Colorado

Quantifying the relationship between reported health symptoms and air exposures across multiple communities near Oil and Gas Operations in Colorado

Air Toxics Inhalation – Screening Level Health Hazard Assessment in Area with High Concentration of Natural Gas Production

A Semi-Quantitative Geospatial Pollutant-Specific Exposure Metric for Use in Health Studies Associated with Unconventional Natural Gas Development in Pennsylvania

Overview of Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production Industry Standards

Engaging Agencies and the Public in Atmospheric Monitoring Observations through Real-Time Data Posting

  • Helmig et al., 2018

    University of Colorado, Boulder; Boulder County Public Health

HEI Code of Conduct

HEI fully expects that all participants who attend any in-person or online meeting or event behave with the utmost respect for peers, colleagues, staff, volunteers, researchers, sponsors, and everyone across the HEI community. It is our sincere desire that every event, meeting, and gathering we host or participate in fosters and encourages an inclusive, positive, and welcoming environment for all. Read HEI’s full Code of Conduct Statement.