Environmental regulators are moving ahead with plans to measure the air quality in Lee County in advance of potential shale gas exploration in the area.
The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources this week began discussions with Lee County officials on identifying a location to install air quality monitoring equipment. The agency expects to begin monitoring air quality this summer or this fall, said Michael Abraczinskas, deputy director of DENR's Division of Air Quality.
DENR wants to establish a baseline air quality level in Lee County before any fracking activity gets underway.
"The monitoring data can be used to provide estimates of exposure and create a valuable database for any future analysis of long-term health impacts or changes in air quality conditions," DENR's work plan says.