In other matters, Gamble said site selection conducted today will help West Virginia University researchers collect air quality data related to natural gas drilling. Somu Chatterjee, regional epidemiologist based at the health department, is coordinating the effort that involves placing WVU's collection devices on various plots of property. Air quality will be measured in Ohio County, but data may also be collected in Marshall and Brooke counties.
Chatterjee previously said there is ''no air quality data available in the country specifically linked to gas drilling.'' The study will take into account other things that may impact air quality, such as factories or vehicle exhaust. The data will be collected at various sites and distances from wells and at all phases of the gas drilling process. The air monitoring equipment was designed by Michael McCawley, associate research professor at the WVU Department of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences. Data collected by the equipment can be checked via computer in Morgantown.