On November 2, 2021, EPA announced it is proposing new rules designed to reduce emissions of methane and other pollutants from oil and gas operations.
New Monitoring to Detect Leaks
According to the Fact Sheet summarizing the proposal, the new rules will require “a comprehensive monitoring program to require companies to find and fix leaks (known as “fugitive emissions”) at new and existing well sites and compressor stations.” The proposal “is designed to focus monitoring efforts on sites and equipment that are most likely to have large emissions.”
Rules to Eliminate Venting and to Set Equipment Standards
Other proposed requirements include the elimination of associated gas venting at new and existing oil wells and new standards for pneumatic controllers, storage tanks, pneumatic pumps, and compressors.
Opportunity for Comment
The proposed rules are subject to a sixty-day comment period. While comments may address any part of the proposal, the Fact Sheet indicates EPA is particularly interested in comments regarding monitoring frequency for well sites estimated to have 3 million tons per year or less of emissions and regarding leak detection technologies.
To see EPA’s News Release announcing the proposal https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/us-sharply-cut-methane-pollution-threatens-climate-and-public-health
To see the Fact Sheet https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-11/2021-oil-and-gas-proposal.-overview-fact-sheet.pdf