Basic Information about Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards
The oil and natural gas industry includes a wide range of operations and equipment, from wells to natural gas gathering lines and processing facilities, to storage tanks, and transmission and distribution pipelines.
The industry is a significant source of emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide.
It also is the largest industrial source of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of chemicals that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog). Exposure to ozone is linked to a wide range of health effects, including aggravated asthma, increased emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and premature death.
In addition to helping form ozone, VOC emissions from the oil and gas industry include air toxics such as benzene, ethylbenzene, and n-hexane, also come from this industry. Air toxics are pollutants known, or suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects.