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Controlling Air Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Actions and Notices about Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards

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Regulatory Actions

EPA Amends Narrow Portions of Fugitive Emissions Requirements in the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

March 1, 2018 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced amendments to two narrow provisions of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry in response to comments the agency received on proposed stays of the rule and on subsequent Notices of Data Availability. The amendments address two of the “fugitive emissions” requirements in the 2016 rule that pose significant and immediate compliance concerns: a requirement that leaking components be repaired during unplanned or emergency shutdowns; and the monitoring survey requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope. Learn More

EPA Issues Notices of Data Availability for Proposed Stays of Portions of Oil and Gas Standards

November 1, 2017 -- EPA is issuing two notices of data availability related to the agency’s proposed stays of certain requirements in the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry. The notices seek comment on some of the issues and suggestions stakeholders have identified since the agency proposed a two-year stay and a three-month stay of certain requirements in the 2016 rule. EPA will take public comment on the notices for 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

EPA Proposes to Stay Oil and Gas Standards for Two Years
June 12, 2017 - EPA is proposing a two-year stay of the fugitive emissions, pneumatic pump and professional engineer certification requirements in the rule while the agency reconsiders them. In addition, to ensure there is no gap in the stay while the reconsideration process moves forward, EPA is proposing a three-month stay that would apply after the administrative stay expires until the two-year stay takes effect.

EPA Stays Oil and Gas Standards for 90 Days

Note: On July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated EPA's 90-day stay of portions of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Gas Industry. EPA is considering its options in light of the court's opinion. On July 7, 2017, EPA moved the court to recall its mandate in order to provide EPA with the standard short period of time in which to evaluate its options before the court’s decision becomes effective.  This motion is pending before the court.

The court also emphasized that nothing in its opinion limits EPA’s authority to reconsider the oil and gas standards and to proceed with its June 16, 2017  proposed stays of certain requirements in the rule (see item above). EPA will take comment on those proposals until August 9, 2017.

May 26, 2017 - EPA is following through on its commitment to stay portions of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry while the agency works through the reconsideration process. Using its Clean Air Act authority, the agency is issuing a 90-day stay of the fugitive emissions, pneumatic pumps, and professional engineer certification requirements from the 2016 rule.

EPA to Reconsider Aspects of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), Stay Compliance Date for Fugitive Emissions Monitoring Requirements
April 18, 2017 – EPA intends to reconsider certain aspects of the 2016 NSPS for the oil and natural gas industry, in response to several administrative reconsideration petitions. In a letter to the petitioners, the agency said it also intends to issue a 90-day stay of the June 3, 2017 compliance date for the fugitive emissions monitoring requirements in the rule.

EPA Updates New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), permitting rules
May 12, 2016 - EPA has issued three final rules that together will curb emissions of methane, smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic air pollutants such as benzene from new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas sources, while providing greater certainty about Clean Air Act permitting requirements for the industry.

Proposed measures to cut methane and VOC emissions from the oil and natural gas industry and clarify permitting requirements
August 18, 2015 - EPA has proposed a suite of commonsense requirements that together will help combat climate change, reduce air pollution that harms public health, and provide greater certainty about Clean Air Act permitting requirements for the oil and natural gas industry

EPA Issues Final Air Rules for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
April 17, 2012 – 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.

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Control Techniques Guidelines

EPA Proposes to Withdraw the 2016 Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

March 1, 2018 - EPA is seeking public comment on withdrawing the 2016 Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry.

EPA Issues Final Control Techniques Guidelines

Oct. 20, 2016 - EPA has issued final Control Techniques Guidelines for reducing smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from existing oil and natural gas equipment and processes in certain states and areas with smog problems.

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Information Requests

EPA Withdraws Information Request for the Oil and Gas Industry
March 2, 2017-- EPA has withdrawn the 2016 information request for the oil and gas industry, effective immediately. If you received a letter requiring you to fill out a survey, you are no longer required to respond. Survey recipients who have questions may contact the ICR help desk at 888-372-8696, or by email icr@epa.gov

Final Information Collection Request (ICR) for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
Nov. 10, 2016 - EPA issued a final Information Collection Request (ICR) seeking information needed to help the agency determine how to best reduce methane and other harmful emissions from existing sources in the large and complex oil and natural gas industry. The final ICR reflects a number of changes made based on comments about on two drafts of the ICR, issued for public review and comment earlier this year.

Second Draft Information Collection Request (ICR)  for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
Sept. 23, 2016 - EPA issued the second draft of an Information Collection Request (ICR) to require oil and natural gas companies to provide extensive information needed to develop regulations to reduce methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources. The second draft reflects a number of changes EPA made based on comments the agency received on a draft ICR announced in May.

Voluntary Request for Information on Emerging Technologies

July 8, 2016 - EPA has issued a voluntary Request for Information inviting all parties to provide information on innovative technologies to detect, measure and mitigate emissions from the oil and natural gas industry.

Draft Information Collection Request for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
May 12, 2016 - EPA issued the first draft of an Information Collection Request (ICR) to require oil and natural gas companies to provide extensive information needed to develop regulations to reduce methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources. In addition, the agency announced plans to issue a Request for Information to seek information on innovative strategies that can accurately and cost-effectively locate, measure and mitigate methane emissions.

EPA Requests Information on Hazardous Air Pollution Emissions from Sources in Oil and Natural Gas Production, and Natural Gas Transmission and Storage
Nov. 4, 2015 – EPA has issued a request for additional data and information on emissions of hazardous air pollutants (air toxics) that were not available in 2012 when EPA updated its major source air toxics standards for oil and natural gas production facilities, and natural gas transmission and storage facilities. The agency is requesting data on storage vessels without potential for flash emissions, and data on air toxics emissions from regulated small glycol dehydrators.

Controlling Air Pollution from Oil and Natural Gas Production