Potential SBAR Panel: Review of the Oil and Natural Gas New Source Performance Standards
What is the Implication of the Proposed Action on Small Entities?
On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order titled ‘Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,’ (EO 13990) which directs the EPA to consider proposing by September 2021: (1) a rulemaking to reduce methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the oil and natural gas sector by suspending, revising, or rescinding the previously issued new source performance standards (NSPS); and (2) new regulations to establish standards of performance for methane and VOC emissions from the exploration and production, transmission, processing, and storage segments. The purpose of this action is to review the existing NSPS and propose new requirements in order to meet the requirements set forth in the Executive Order.
What is a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel?
The Regulatory Flexibility Act as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (RFA/SBREFA) requires EPA to convene an SBAR Panel for a proposed rule unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. EPA has not determined whether this rulemaking can be certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Panel process offers an opportunity for small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profit organizations (collectively referred to as small entities) to provide advice and recommendations to ensure that EPA carefully considers small entity concerns regarding the impact of the potential rule on their organizations. The Panel itself is comprised of federal employees from EPA, the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and the Office of Advocacy in the Small Business Administration (SBA). Small Entity Representatives (SERs) provide advice and recommendations to the Panel. Typically, EPA prefers that SERs be owners or operators of small businesses, small organization officials, or small government officials. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, also may serve as SERs. These other representatives are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Information about what constitutes a "small business" is available at the SBA’s web page on size standards. A "small government" is defined as a jurisdiction serving a population of 50,000 residents or fewer. A “small organization” is defined as any “not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” To learn more, review EPA’s Small Entities and Rulemaking – Frequent Questions web page.
How Can I Get Involved?
If you are a small business in the oil or natural gas production, processing, gathering and boosting, or transmission and storage segments that may be directly subject to this rule, you are eligible to serve as a SER. As mentioned above, other representatives that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities may also serve as SERs. The role of a SER is to provide advice and recommendations to ensure that the Panel carefully considers small entity concerns regarding the impact of the potential rule on their organizations and to communicate with other small entities within their sector who do not serve as SERs.
You may nominate yourself to serve as a SER by following the directions in the next section. Depending on the volume of responses, EPA may not be able to invite all eligible candidates to participate as SERs. Generally, SERs will be asked to review background information, listen to informational briefings, and provide oral and written advice and recommendations to the Panel. At least one virtual meeting is typically held with the SERs.
Who Should I Contact?
- Qualify as “small” under SBA’s definition AND expect to be directly subject to requirements of the proposed rule; or
- Exclusively represent or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities (e.g., a trade association that exclusively or primarily represents small entities). Nominees such as these will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Your name
- Name of your company, governmental jurisdiction, or not-for-profit organization
- Size of your company, governmental jurisdiction, or not-for-profit organization
- If you are representing a business, you may confirm that your business meets the definition of “small” by consulting SBA’s web page on size standards. Please provide the primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for your firm and either average annual receipts or average annual employment for your firm corresponding to the definition of small for your primary NAICS code. Note that a ‘firm’ includes parent company and all subsidiaries.
- A small governmental jurisdiction means governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than 50,000.
- A small organization means any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.
- If you are with a group such as a trade association that represents small entities, please provide a list of your members, the size of your members (if possible), and a qualitative statement describing how your group can truly represent only the unique interests of your members that qualify as small entities.
- Contact information (including phone number and email address)
- USE THIS AS THE SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR EMAIL: SER Self-Nomination for the Review of the Oil and Natural Gas New Source Performance Standards