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Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge
Program Proposal

Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program Proposal

EPA is proposing the voluntary Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program (“Methane Challenge”) (PDF) (18 pp, 512K, About PDF), which would provide a new mechanism through which oil and gas companies could make and track ambitious commitments to reduce methane emissions. The Program is based on extensive stakeholder outreach and reflects a revision of EPA’s previously proposed Gas STAR Gold framework. While tremendous progress has been made during the last 20 years through the successful Natural Gas STAR Program, significant opportunities remain to reduce methane emissions, improve air quality, and capture and monetize this valuable energy resource. This new program has the capability to comprehensively and transparently reduce emissions and realize significant voluntary reductions in a quick, flexible, cost-effective way.

The Methane Challenge Program is an integral part of the EPA’s — and the Administration’s — ongoing commitment to address methane emissions and global climate change. In March 2014, the White House released the Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions (PDF) that included EPA efforts to reduce methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector. In January 2015, the Obama Administration further demonstrated its commitment by announcing a new goal to cut methane emissions from this sector by 40-45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.

Additional Materials

As the next step in providing comprehensive information for stakeholders to evaluate and provide feedback on the proposed Program, EPA will release the following documents in the coming weeks (links will become active once the document is available):

  • Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Draft Implementation Plan Template
  • Draft Technical Specifications for BMP Commitment Options

Stakeholder Feedback

EPA encourages stakeholders to closely review and provide feedback on any and all elements of the proposed Methane Challenge Program. EPA will carefully consider and evaluate all feedback received through the new extended deadline of October 13, 2015, in order to finalize and launch the Methane Challenge Program by the end of 2015.

If you are interested in providing feedback, you can submit your feedback online or by email to methanechallenge@tetratech.com. If you have questions about the proposal or wish to schedule a meeting, please contact Carey Bylin at (202) 343-9669 or by email at bylin.carey@epa.gov.

Learn More

EPA hosted a series of webinars to provide details about the proposed Methane Challenge Program. Each webinar addressed specific oil and gas sectors. View the Methane Challenge Webinar presentations.

Proposed Schedule

July 2015
Sector-specific webinars

Through October 13, 2015
Collect stakeholder feedback

Fall 2015
Revise and finalize Methane Challenge Program

Outreach, confirmation of charter partners

By end of 2015
Launch event with commitments from charter partners

January 1, 2016
First full year of Program implementation and data collection begins

Summer/Fall 2016
Development of systems for tracking and collecting data

Spring 2017
First annual progress reports / data collection due

Fall 2017
First Program data published

Natural Gas STAR

EPA plans to continue the Natural Gas STAR Program and will continue to work with our Natural Gas STAR Partners to achieve methane emission reductions.

Visit the Natural Gas STAR site

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