Air pollution from natural gas sites in Pennsylvania increased significantly in 2013, the state Department of Environmental Protection says.
Emissions from sulfur dioxide, a precursor of acid rain, was up 57 percent from 2012, DEP said. Volatile organic compounds increased 19 percent. Methane gas, a greenhouse gas, was up 13 percent. Particulate matter (also called soot) was up 12 percent and nitrogen oxides, which form soot, increased 8 percent.
The increased emissions were not unexpected as natural gas production and related processing operations were up in the state as compared to 2012, said John Quigley, DEP secretary.