Dr. Natalie Pekney has been an environmental engineer on the Monitoring Team in the Engineered Natural Systems Division of NETL since 2008. She is the Technical Coordinator for shale gas development fugitive emissions research. Her recent work includes studying the impact of oil and gas production activities on air quality in areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. She has also worked on measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas exploration, production, and transmission, including designing an approach to measure the methane leak rate from natural gas pipelines, abandoned oil and natural gas wells, and natural gas compressor stations. Information obtained from these studies will facilitate decision-making for air quality policy and permitting applications for oil and gas production. Pekney also served as the DOE-NETL representative for the air quality and greenhouse gases topic area in the Multiagency Unconventional Oil and Gas research team and as a Technical Advisory Panel member for the Environmental Defense Fund Methane Detector Challenge.
Pekney particularly enjoys being out in the field collecting data and is pleased that NETL allows her “a nice balance between time spent in my office, in the lab, and in the field.” Her time spent researching measurement of emissions is even more rewarding because she works with “a great team of talented field researchers.” Outside of work, she devotes most of her time to her husband and their three children.