On October 4, 2017, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) cannot postpone implementation of natural gas methane emission rules because such action would violate the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). Plaintiffs – the State of California, the State of New Mexico, and a … Continue Reading
Widely anticipated on both sides of the aisle, on May 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released final regulations to curb emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (“VOC”) from additional new, modified, and reconstructed sources in the oil and gas industry. The Final Rule, titled, ‘Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards … Continue Reading
On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released proposed regulations aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas facilities. These first-ever proposed standards are a key part of a broader strategy, under the President’s Climate Action Plan, to cut methane emissions in the sector by 40% … Continue Reading
Today, Friday, March 20, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), an agency within the Department of the Interior, published regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian lands. The Final Rule becomes effective in 90 days and will impact about 2,800-3,800 wells each year. In 2013, 90% of the 2,800 new wells on Federal and … Continue Reading
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