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August 19, 2019

Ride along with Arsineh Hecobian as she tracks methane plumes for $1.7M project

As days turn to nights in Broomfield, Colorado, residents may spot a white Chevrolet Tahoe with a pole jutting out its top slowly moving through neighborhoods and down city streets.

The SUV is jam-packed with sensitive equipment tracking what people are breathing in Broomfield, which sits atop a major oil and gas production zone. It’s a crucial component of a collaborative, multiyear study examining the relationship between oil and gas development and local air quality.

Mobile plume tracking, led by Colorado State University air pollution experts, is a key technology in Broomfield’s ongoing Air Quality Testing Program. And it’s just one aspect of a three-year, $1.7 million contract awarded by Broomfield last year to the lab of CSU atmospheric scientist Jeff Collett, as a subcontractor to environmental data company Ajax Analytics. Together, CSU and Ajax Analytics are painting a comprehensive picture of Broomfield’s air, and how it is being affected as new oil and gas wells are drilled, completed and moved into production.

Read the full Source article, “To monitor air quality, scientists chase methane plumes in dead of night.”