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EPA Participates in Energy Roundtable with States, Tribes, Businesses and Environmental Groups to Enhance Coordination and Promote Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Gas Resources

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DENVER, CO. — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrapped up a two-day oil and natural gas roundtable with stakeholders including state and local leaders, tribes, industry, trade groups, and environmental nongovernmental organizations. Co-hosted with the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), the roundtable was organized to enhance coordination and communication, and ensure safe and responsible domestic energy production, especially in the oil and gas industry.

“This roundtable fulfills a commitment I made last year to improve EPA’s working relationship with state regulators and American businesses,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA is working closely with the states to provide clarity and certainty to oil and gas rules and permitting processes.” 

Last year, Administrator Pruitt committed to holding an event in response to various compliance concerns raised by oil and gas industry associations in Colorado and North Dakota. Administrator Pruitt recognized the need for increased interactions between EPA regional offices and their counterpart state regulatory agencies in order to enhance existing relationships, eliminate duplication, and implement joint-planning processes.

With the goal of achieving more effective and efficient environmental outcomes, stakeholders worked together to find practical solutions to regulatory, permitting and compliance challenges. EPA continues to engage with the oil and gas sector as part of the Smart Sectors program and increase coordination and collaboration between the Agency and stakeholders to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

"We appreciate the individual perspectives and input shared at the forum and value the opportunity to be part of the ongoing dialogue on environmental compliance in the oil and gas sector,” said EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento. “It’s clear that there are real environmental results to be gained from more strategic collaboration with our partners and that oil and gas development and environmental protection are not contradictory goals.”

“I was pleased to participate in this week’s discussion about working together to enhance compliance with oil and gas rules,” said EPA Region 6 Administrator Anne Idsal. “EPA Regions are on the frontline in working with many of these constituencies and we look forward to continuing these discussions.”

"This week's oil and natural gas roundtable was consistent with ECOS work conducted under our Shale Gas Caucus and various cooperative federalism initiatives to enhance protection of human health and the environment," said Todd Parfitt, president of the Environmental Council of States and director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. "ECOS is pleased to have worked alongside U.S. EPA and IOGCC in hosting a productive dialogue around timely compliance with oil and gas rules." 

"The roundtable was a great start for a continuing dialogue on the appropriate roles of states and the federal government in oil and gas regulation." said Mike Smith, executive director of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. "We welcomed the opportunity to work with the ECOS and the U.S. EPA to bring a cross section of constituencies together in this forward-looking exercise. We intend to continue these discussions at our respective meetings."