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Climate Change Hero

Climate Change Blog

  • 17
  • May
  • 2016

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EPA Releases Final Rule on Oil and Gas Sector Methane Emissions

On May 12, 2016, the U.S. EPA released a final rule aimed at reducing methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified oil and gas sources. The final rule places new compliance burdens on compressor stations and well sites, including detecting and repairing equipment leaks, capturing gas from the completion of hydraulically fractured wells, and limiting emissions from certain new and modified equipment used at gas transmission compressor stations and well sites. 

The final rule differs from the proposal released last fall in a number of ways. For example, compressor stations will be required to monitor leaks every quarter, and well sites will be required to do so semiannually, regardless of their compliance histories. Low production wells that were previously exempted in the proposed rule will also be required to comply with the new requirements.

The final rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Additionally, EPA is expected to release proposed rules limiting methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources in the future. See the final rule here and a list of sources covered here. Check back for more detailed analysis of the final rule next week.

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