5) The background concentrations of certain chemical species that participate in

18 photochemical reactions to form secondary PM2.5, including ammonia and volatile

19 organic compounds, are expected to be negligible in the offshore air masses

20 where the Discoverer will be permitted to operate. The emissions authorized

21 under the permits of approximately 43 tons per year of VOC and 0.52 tons per

22 year of ammonia [citation omitted] would also not be expected to result in the

23 conversion of significant quantities of NOX emissions to secondary particles in

24 the areas impacted by primary PM2.5 emissions.


6) There are several other conservative assumptions incorporated in the modeling

26 of primary PM2.5 emissions. These include the conservatism inherent in using a

27 “First Tier” approach to combining modeled primary PM2.5 impacts with

28 monitored background PM2.5 concentrations; assuming that the Discoverer will be

29 operating in a single drilling location for 3 years, when it is more likely that the

30 Discoverer will operate in a different location each year (if not more frequently);

31 orienting the Associated Fleet with hourly modeled wind direction and using

32 emission release characteristics based on actual meteorological conditions; and

33 the fact that the background monitored data used to represent offshore conditions

34 was collected onshore, where it is influenced by local sources, and is, therefore

35 likely to be a conservative estimate of background PM2.5 levels in the area of

36 maximum impact near the Discoverer.


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