HEI Research Planning Workshop: Understanding Population-Level Exposures Related to the Development of Oil and Natural Gas from Unconventional Resources, September 12-13, 2018

September 12, to September 13, 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.

At this workshop, participants learned about progress on the Energy Research Committee’s ongoing review of the exposure literature associated with UOGD, heard presentations from experts on scientific and regulatory topics relevant to the assessment of potential human exposures to UOGD, shared their expertise, and contributed their perspective to the Committee's impartial, interdisciplinary review and interpretation of the exposure literature.

Sessions

Introductions and Workshop Overview

Sep 12 2018 - 10:30am

10:30 AM

Welcome

Robert O'Keefe
,

Health Effects Institute

10:40 AM

Introductions

George Hornberger
,

Vanderbilt University

11:00 AM

Workshop Objectives and Charge Questions

The Committee's Progress

Sep 12 2018 - 11:10am

11:10 AM

Overview of exposure literature review and research planning

11:50 AM

Just What IS an RFQ?

Daniel S. Greenbaum
,

Health Effects Institute

Panel Discussion: Federal and State Oil and Gas Policy - Trends and Research Needs

Sep 12 2018 - 1:00pm

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Megan E. Garvey, Senior Counselor to the Regional Administrator - Region 8

Michael E. Honeycutt, Director, Toxicology Division, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

James C. Kenney, Senior Policy Advisor for Unconvetional Oil and Gas, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Saba Tahmassebi, Agency Chief Engineer, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)

Clint Woods, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Panel Talking Points:

1. HEI's Energy Research Committee is charged with recommending population-level research to understand potential human exposures associated with onshore unconventional oil and natural gas development in the United States. To do so, the Committee needs a clear understanding of current national- and state-level oil and natural gas regulations and guidance. For this reason, we ask  each panelist to describe current oil and natural gas policy in their jurisdiction and anticipated future trends, focusing on policies most important for the protection of public health (by minimizing exposures).

2. HEI's Energy Research Committee has been charged with recommending high priority research that is relevant to policy decisions. To this end, we ask each panelist to advise the Committee about human exposure research related to unconventional oil and natural gas development that they would find most useful.
 

 

 

Prepared Remarks from Participants

Sep 12 2018 - 3:00pm

After the panel discussion, Workshop participants heard brief presentations from Bruce Baizel (Earthworks, State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations), Matt Lepore (Adamantine Energy, State Oil and Gas Regulatory Exchange, former Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission),and Alan Krupnick (Resources for the Future).  

3:05 PM

State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER)

3:10 PM

Remarks from Matt Lepore - Description of State Oil & Gas Regulatory Exchange (SOGRE) and remarks based on his experience as the Former Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

3:15 PM

A new tool for informing regulatory decisions: The Shale Research Clearinghouse (SHARC)

Alan Krupnick
,

Resources for the Future

Group Exercise #1 followed by Facilitated Discussion

Sep 12 2018 - 3:30pm
Speaker: All Workshop Participants

Each breakout group was assigned one of the three questions below. Groups had 20 minutes for discussion before reporting back to all workshop participants. 

  • What are the most important gaps in information or data that could be filled to improve UOGD policies and regulations to protect human health and the environment? Please consider perceived or actual gaps that are important to non-governmental stakeholders or local governments. Are there opportunities for filling any of the gaps that would be enhanced by collaboration with multiple stakeholder groups (i.e., industry, academia, government, NGOs, affected communities)?
  • What research would be most helpful to those faced with making near term decisions (e.g., regulators, industry, and community leaders) given the concerns of various stakeholders? What research needs to be conducted in the next few years that would represent an enormous missed opportunity if not conducted? 
  • Which UOGD operations and potential exposures to them should be studied to provide information most broadly relevant to various locations, populations, and UOGD operational practices across the United States? What locations might be particularly useful to include in exposure research? Are there opportunities for research that would be enhanced by collaboration with multiple stakeholder groups (i.e., industry, academia, government, NGOs, affected communities)?

Prepared Remarks from Participants

Sep 12 2018 - 4:20pm

After the report-backs for the breakout group discussion, the participants watched a video presentation provided by Dr. David Allen (University of Texas) on The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) Shale Task Force. 

4:20 PM

TAMEST Shale Task Force

David Allen
,

The University of Texas at Austin

Discussion and wrap-up; review the plan for day 2

Sep 12 2018 - 5:15pm

Data Mining: How can we leverage data that already exists?

Sep 13 2018 - 8:00am

8:00 AM

Working smarter not harder, unearthing oil and gas data using intelligent geoinformatics

8:25 AM

Stalking the Wild Dataset: Informing Policy with Evidence

8:45 AM

Using Geochemistry Data to Identify Groundwater Quality Issues in Shale Gas Production Areas

9:05 AM

Existing VOC Measurements from the Colorado Front Range's Oil and Natural Gas Region: Availability, Value, and Limitations

9:25 AM

Oil and Gas Emission Inventories and Applications for Estimating Impacts to Health and Welfare

9:45 AM

Filling in the Gaps in Monitoring Data with Satellite Imaging

Alan Krupnick
,

Resources for the Future

9:55 AM

Air Quality Data from CDPHE's Community Exposure Investigations

Group Exercise #2 followed by Facilitated Discussion

Sep 13 2018 - 10:20am
Speaker: All Workshop Participants

Each breakout group was assigned one of the three questions below. Groups had 20 minutes for discussion before reporting back to all workshop participants. 

  • What critical research questions about exposure are most amenable to being addressed using available data? Are there data, databases, and ongoing research that the Committee may not have heard about that would help in understanding potential human exposures?
  • What are the most important exposure pathways that should be studied (an exposure pathway includes a chemical or non-chemical agent, a specific population exposed to the agent(s), and a pathway in the environment that connects them)? Is there a priority order for the studies in terms of the most pressing potential problems and the availability (or lack thereof) of pertinent data and information?
  • At the last workshop, the Committee heard recommendations for research about exposures related to air quality but fewer related to water quality. What potential human exposures related to air should the Committee consider studying? What are the potential human exposures related to water that the Committee should consider studying, whether related to exposure to groundwater, surface water, or reused flowback or produced water?

Prepared Remarks from Participants

Sep 13 2018 - 10:20am

Prior to the small group discussion, Workshop participants heard from Bernard Goldstein (University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health) about recent literature reviews involving research recommendations.

10:20 AM

What Would Willie Sutton Say About Hydraulic Fracturing of the Marcellus Shale?

Bernard Goldstein
,

University of Pittsburgh

Wrap-up with Next Steps in Research Planning

Sep 13 2018 - 11:50am

11:50 AM

Next Steps in the Committee’s Review

Donna J. Vorhees
, Health Effects Institute