Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. (See White House Fact Sheet.) The EPA’s goal is to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% from 2012 levels by 2025. The proposed regulations will set standards to reduce methane … Continue Reading
In several recent studies on methane emissions relating to the natural gas industry, scientists concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underestimated the quantity of methane the industry releases to the atmosphere. A study released Monday, based on air samples above wells in the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania, indicates that methane emissions may be from 100 to 1000 times higher than EPA estimates. But this study also found that hydraulic fracturing was not a primary source of methane emissions.
Also this week, EPA released five white papers for peer review identifying fracking, along with compressors, leaks, liquids unloading and pneumatic devices, as a potentially significant source of methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The papers are the first step in President Obama's Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions targeting several areas, including the oil and gas sector, for reducing methane emissions.… Continue Reading
Nine separate petitions for review were filed lask week in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for fracking well completions and revised National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for major sources at oil and gas production facilities. The petitioners include environmental groups, industry associations and the State of Texas.… Continue Reading
Last week, EPA issued a final rule imposing New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) on fracking well completions. The rule applies to new gas wells and refractured gas wells, which are considered “modifications” subject to NSPS. Under the new rule, fracking operators must use reduced emission completions, also known as RECs or green completions, to reduce … Continue Reading