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We work with partners in the energy industry and government to measure and model emissions from a wide variety of sources, including coal-fired power plant stacks, oil and natural gas infrastructure, and soil, water, and snow surfaces in impacted environments. We work to incorporate the results of these studies into emissions inventories and air quality models to determine the impact of emissions on air quality.  We also work with the energy industry to reduce pollutant emissions.

Emissions Measurement & Inventory Developmentform emissions

A host of recent studies have shown official estimates of oil and gas emissions are low, and sources excluded from or underreported in current emissions inventories may be to blame. Some examples of our emissions characterization work include:

  • Component-level methane emissions measurements at compressor stations and natural gas storage facilities around the nation using a custom-built high-flow system.
  • Comprehensive characterization of emissions of organic compounds from produced water ponds in the Rocky Mountain region.
  • Quantification of loss of natural gas through the soil and into the atmosphere from subsurface wellbore leaks.
  • Measurement of formaldehyde and other carbonyl emissions from oil and gas industry equipment.
  • Flux measurements at the snow-atmosphere interface to understand how organic compounds emitted by the oil and gas industry are processed in the snowpack.  

If you would like to learn more:

Read reports and papers we have published about this work here.
Learn more about atmospheric emissions from produced water here.
Access some of these datasets and request others here.
Read our fact sheet or full report about optical gas imaging camera surveys of oil and gas emissions.

Energy Policy Studies Initiativereg road map

Fossil fuel extraction is an important component of national energy independence and underpins the Uintah Basin’s economy. USU’s Energy Policy Studies Initiative studies the impact of policy on the energy industry. Our recent publication, "The Regulatory Road Map for Oil and Gas Exploration, Development, and Production in Utah," informs stakeholders who develop the state’s vast energy resources.


ULend is a partnership between Utah DEQ, TriCounty Health, and USU to make a leak detection camera available for use by Utah's oil and gas industry to find and repair leaks of natural gas into the atmosphere. Sign up here to borrow the ULend camera.

Ozone Alert

We provide email alerts to industry and others when high ozone is forecast in the Uinta Basin.  Sign up for this free service here.