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Region 6 Environmental Contaminants

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Contaminant Issues - Oil Field Waste Pits
  
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Flare Pits

Flare stacks are used at some oil production sites to vent and burn hydrogen sulfide gas produced from the wells.  Earthen pits are constructed below the flare stacks to contain any fluids present in the gas stream.  Typically, flare stacks collect precipitation which mixes with residual oils and other liquids and create small ponds which pose a hazard to migratory birds and other wildlife.

Exposed fluids in flare pits pose a hazard to migratory birds and other wildlife.  Effective exclusionary devices should be installed on flare pits to prevent wildlife entry. 

Anti-perching devices should be installed on flare stacks to prevent raptors and other birds from using them as perch sites. Mortality of birds perching on flare stacks results from direct incineration or by inhalation of the toxic hydrogen sulfide gas if the flare igniter fails to work properly. 


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