ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department are partnering with Moriarty-based company Sceye Inc. to bring a new air pollution monitoring hanger in Roswell.
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The High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) will be flying 65,000 feet in the air and will monitor pollutants like methane in southeast New Mexico that could be coming from oil fields in the Permian basin in New Mexico and Texas over the next five years.
According to Mikkel Vestergaard Fraudsen, founder of Sceye Inc. says they can get a better view than a satellite. “We are in one to two meters we are at far greater granularity in what we can see to what we can see is the specific emitter is it this pipeline that’s leaking or is it the cow standing next to the pipeline,” Fradusen said.
The company says they can also watch the rate of emission in real-time and see if emissions are coming from out of state or from something other than an oil field. That’s something that James Kenney, NMED cabinet secretary says could be “tremendously useful.”
“We’ve identified that 13 percent of the ozone that we pick up in Lea and Eddy County is actually coming from Texas,” said Kenny.
The partnership between Sceye Inc., the environmental protection agency and NMED can also aid in wildfire detection and rural broadband connectivity while also bringing jobs to the area.
“I just think it’s fantastic that Sceye is located in Roswell and that they are contributing to rural New Mexican jobs as much as they are contributing the scientific data that the U.S. is going to use to look at climate and ozone transport,” Kenny said.
The state doesn’t have a cost for the project yet, but they think it will be much more affordable than looking for problems and leaks on the ground. The state hopes to launch the program next year.