Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards
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EPA Issues Final Air Rules for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
On April 17, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued cost-effective regulations, required by the Clean Air Act, to reduce harmful air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry while allowing continued, responsible growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production. The final rules include the first federal air standards for natural gas wells that are hydraulically fractured, along with requirements for several other sources of pollution in the oil and gas industry that currently are not regulated at the federal level. Based on public comment, EPA made a number of changes to the proposed rules to increase compliance flexibility while maintaining comparable environmental benefits, streamline notification, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and strengthen accountability.
- Final rule (PDF) (112pp, 1.0 MB) - Federal Register - August 16, 2012
- Overview fact sheet (PDF) (5pp, 354k)
- Summary of key changes to the rule (PDF) (3pp, 320k)
- Summaries of requirements for:
- Natural gas well sites (PDF) (5pp, 411k)
- Natural gas gathering and boosting stations (PDF) (3pp, 389k)
- Gas processing plants (PDF) (3pp, 395k)
- Natural gas transmission compressor stations (PDF) (2pp, 322k)
- The oil industry (PDF) (2pp, 320k)
- Information for States (PDF) (3pp, 233k)
- Presentation - Reducing Air Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry (PDF) (13pp, 368k)
- Regulatory Impact Analysis (PDF) (224pp, 1.8 MB)
Deadline for Final Oil and Gas Rule extended to April 17, 2012
April 2, 2012 - EPA and parties have agreed to a two-week extension – until April 17, 2012 - on a consent decree to issue final air rules for the oil and natural gas industry. The agency requested the additional time to fully address the issues raised in the more than 156,000 public comments we received on the proposed rules.
- Stipulation extending deadline for issuing final rule (PDF) (3pp, 10k) - filed April 2, 2012
EPA extends public comment period for oil and natural gas proposed rule
October 24, 2011 - EPA is granting requests for a 30-day extension to the public comment period for the Agency's proposed standards to reduce air pollution from oil and natural gas drilling operations. The public comment period will now close on November 30, 2011. The standards would rely on cost-effective existing technologies to reduce emissions that contribute to smog pollution and can cause cancer, while supporting the administration's priority of continuing to expand safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production. The standards would leverage operators' abilities to capture and sell natural gas that currently escapes into the air, resulting in more efficient operations while reducing harmful emissions that can impact air quality in surrounding areas and nearby states.
In addition, the litigants in the suit have agreed to a 35-day extension of the date for the final rule, which would extend the deadline from February 28, 2012 to April 3, 2012.
- Proposed rule extension (PDF) (2pp, 147k) - Federal Register - October 28, 2011
- Stipulation extending deadline for issuing final rule (PDF) (3pp, 11k) - filed October 28, 2011
- Summary of topics on which EPA is seeking comments (PDF) (8pp, 129k) - Topics on which EPA is specifically seeking comment in the proposed regulations for the oil and gas industry. Comments are due by November 30, 2011.
August 25, 2011 - EPA will hold three public hearings on the proposed standards to reduce air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry. The hearings will be Sept. 27, 28 and 29 in Pittsburgh, Denver and Arlington, Texas
- Hearing Notice (PDF) (2pp, 184k) - Federal Register - August 26, 2011
- List of preregistered speakers
- Pittsburgh, PA (PDF) (4pp, 213k)
- Denver, CO (PDF) (3pp, 166k)
- Arlington, TX (PDF) (3pp, 75k)
EPA proposes air rules for the oil and gas industry
July 28, 2011 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a suite of highly cost-effective standards to reduce emissions of smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and air toxics from the oil and natural gas industry. The rules also would significantly reduce methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
- Proposed rule (PDF) (106pp, 772k) - Federal Register - August 23, 2011
- Fact sheet (PDF) (8pp, 419k)
- Overview Presentation (PDF) (15pp, 250k)
- Regulatory Impact Analysis (PDF) (204pp, 1.6 MB)