Recently the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) sent a letter asking coal mines in the state of Colorado to quantify the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and sulfur compounds on an annual basis. According to the letter, the Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) of the CDPHE has a concern that mine shafts and methane drainage wells, which exist for safety purposes, have the potential to emit VOC in excess of reporting and permitting thresholds.
In order to assist in their determination of VOC emissions from coal mines, the CDPHE is requesting actual coal production rates, air flow rates from ventilation shafts, extended gas analysis for C1 through C6 hydrocarbons, BTEX, and volatile sulfur compounds, and an estimate of actual and potential VOC emissions from each mine. A separate estimate for mine ventilation shafts and methane drainage wells has also been requested.
Airtech Environmental Services Inc. is currently assisting some mines with these estimates through sampling and analysis of the gas streams for VOC and volatile sulfur compound concentrations. For more information on the ways that Airtech can assist with these estimates, contact our Mountain Region office.
— Article by Timothy Wojtach