Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

First Advisor

Sarah Rogers

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Philip White


This study examines the distribution of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the natural gas and oil industry across seven regions of Colorado. In particular, this project aims to use Air Pollution Control Division’s 2016 air inventory data from the Colorado State Department of Public Health and the Environment to evaluate regions of high producing emitters of VOCs. The research question is as follows: How do VOC estimated emission levels from oil and natural gas compare to the annual throughput of each monitored extraction site, and how do these variables differ among seven regions in the state of Colorado? A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) among all seven Colorado regions indicates there is a relationship between region, range of annual throughput, and the log of VOCs estimated emission levels. The overwhelmingly highest area of monitored extraction is the Denver Metro/Northern Front Range region but is not the highest polluting on average from this dataset.