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Denton Fracking Referendum Project

Description: On November 4, 2014 Denton residents voted on a proposition calling for the prohibition of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", within the city limits of Denton, Texas. The hydraulic fracturing process involves the use of water, sand and/or chemical additives pumped under high pressure to fracture rock formations and improve the flow of natural gas, oil or other hydrocarbons. This referendum was passed by voters and was the first permanent ban on fracking in the State of Texas. This collection is an effort to document news and viewpoints related to the proposed fracking ban and includes a compilation of web pages crawled in late 2014.
Date: 2014
Creator: University of North Texas. Libraries
Partner: UNT Libraries Digital Projects Unit

Ozone Pollution of Shale Gas Activities in North Texas

Description: The effect of shale gas activities on ground-level ozone pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is studied in detail here. Ozone is a highly reactive species with harmful effects on human and environment. Shale gas development, or fracking, involves activities such as hydraulic fracturing, drilling, fluid mixing, and trucks idling that are sources of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), two of the most important precursors of ozone. In this study two independent approaches have been applied in evaluating the influences on ozone concentrations. In the first approach, the influence of meteorology were removed from ozone time series through the application of Kolmogorov-Zurbenko low-pass filter, logarithmic transformation, and subsequent multi-linear regression. Ozone measurement data were acquired from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) monitoring stations for 14 years. The comparison between ozone trends in non-shale gas region and shale gas region shows increasing ozone trends at the monitoring stations in close proximity to the Barnett Shale activities. In the second approach, the CAMx photochemical model was used to assess the sensitivity of ozone to the NOX and VOC sources associated with shale oil and gas activities. Brute force method was applied on Barnett Shale and Haynesville Shale emission sources to generate four hypothetical scenarios. Ozone sensitivity analysis was performed for a future year of 2018 and it was based on the photochemical simulation that TCEQ had developed for demonstrating ozone attainment under the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Results showed various level of ozone impact at different locations within the DFW region attributed to area and point sources of emissions in the shale region. Maximum ozone impact due to shale gas activities is expected to be in the order of several parts per billion, while lower impacts on design values were predicted. The results from the photochemical modeling can ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Ahmadi, Mahdi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Expertise Revisited: Reflecting on the Intersection of Science and Democracy in the Case of Fracking

Description: This dissertation aims to explain the conditions under which expertise can undermine democratic decision making. I argue that the root of the conflict between expertise and democracy lies in what I call insufficiently “representative” expertise – that is forms of scientific research that are not relevant to the policy questions at hand and that fail to make visible their hidden values dimensions. I claim that the scholarly literature on the problem of expertise fails to recognize and address the issue correctly, because it does not open the black box of scientific methodologies. I maintain that only by making sense of the methodological choices of experts in the context of policy making can we determine the relevance of research and reveal the hidden socio-political values and consequences. Using the case of natural gas fracking, I demonstrate how expert contributions – even though epistemically sound – can muddle democratic policy processes. I present four case studies from controversies about fracking to show how to contextualize scientific methodologies in the pertinent political process. I argue that the common problem across all case studies is the failure of expertise to sufficiently represent stakeholders’ problems and concerns. In this context, “representation” has three criteria: (1) the operational research questions on which the qualified experts work are relevant to stakeholders’ problems and concerns; (2) the non-epistemic values and consequences of epistemic choices of experts are compatible with social and political values and priorities; and (3) hidden values attached to facts are fully transparent and openly debated. In the conclusion, I propose a normative version of this representation theory that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of expertise for democratic policy making. Instead of the value-free science ideal, I propose a new ideal to legitimately allow non-epistemic values in scientific reasoning without compromising the soundness of ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ahmadi, Mahdi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of the Influence of Non-Conventional Sources of Emissions on Ambient Air Pollutant Concentrations in North Texas

Description: Emissions of air pollutants from non-conventional sources have been on the rise in the North Texas area over the past decade. These include primary pollutants such as volatile organic compound (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) which also act as precursors in the formation of ozone. Most of these have been attributed to a significant increase in oil and gas production activities since 2000 within the Barnett Shale region adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex region. In this study, air quality concentrations measured at the Denton Airport and Dallas Hinton monitoring sites operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were evaluated. VOC concentration data from canister-based sampling along with continuous measurement of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5), and meteorological conditions at these two sites spanning from 2000 through 2014 were employed in this study. The Dallas site is located within the urban core of one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, while the Denton site is an exurban site with rural characteristics to it. The Denton Airport site was influenced by natural gas pads surrounding it while there are very few natural gas production facilities within close proximity to the Dallas Hinton site. As of 2013, there were 1362 gas pads within a 10 mile radius to the Denton Airport site but there were only 2 within a 10 mile radius to Dallas Hinton site. The Dallas site displayed higher concentrations of NOx and much lower concentrations of VOC than the Denton site. Extremely high levels of VOC measured at the Denton site corresponded with the increase in oil and gas production activities in close proximity to the monitoring site. Ethane and propane are two major contributors to the measured VOC concentration, suggesting the influence of fugitive emissions of natural gas. ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Lim, Guo Quan
Partner: UNT Libraries

[News Clip: Oil Fracking]

Description: Video footage from the KXAS-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, to accompany a news story. This story aired at 5:00 P.M.
Date: January 4, 1979
Creator: KXAS-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

Not in My Back Yard!

Description: This presentation is part of the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on Gas Well Drilling Redux. This presentation discusses the 'not in my back yard' (NIMBY) attitude - opposition by residents to a proposal for new development that is close to their homes - and focus on whether is it principled or hypocritical to simultaneously oppose the development while benefiting economically from it.
Date: February 8, 2012
Creator: Briggle, Adam
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

An Evaluation of the Correlation Between Shale Gas Development and Ozone Pollution within the Barnett Shale Region

Description: Presentation for the 2014 Fracturing Impacts and Technologies Conference. This presentation discusses an evaluation of the correlation between shale gas development and ozone pollution within the Barnett Shale region.
Date: September 4, 2014
Creator: Ahmadi, Mahdi & John, Kuruvilla
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

"Don't Frack with Denton"

Description: Don't Frack With Denton chronicles the ground-breaking movement to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city of Denton, Texas by combining observational location shooting with extensive sit-down interviews and carefully negotiated subject-filmmaker relationships to create a safe and comfortable space for thoughtful reflection and criticism of a complex social movement who's activities span several years and many individuals. The result is a long-form documentary that is unapologetically in solidarity with this movement's goals while simultaneously maintaining enough editorial independence and critical distance to allow the activists themselves to honestly evaluate their decision-making, tactics and interpersonal relationships in ways that will provide insight and instruction to similar movements around the country and the world.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Graham, Garrett
Partner: UNT Libraries