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Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards

Regulatory Actions

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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.

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.

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.

Public Hearings
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

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.




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