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.
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.
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.