EPA Issues Final Rule for Oil and Natural Gas Operations for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources and Emissions

Dec 11, 2023 1:00 PM ET
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SAINT PAUL, Minn., December 11, 2023 /3BL/ - On December 2, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. Methane is considered a “super pollutant” and is a major contributor to current warming from human activities. This rule aims to make sharp cuts to methane emissions, resulting in near-immediate climate benefits.

The issuance of the Rule updated and strengthened standards for methane and other air pollutants from new, modified, or reconstructed sources. Nearly 1 million comments were received throughout the rulemaking process and the Agency believes that the Rule promotes technical innovation, while allowing the industry time to identify and integrate the necessary equipment or processes required for compliance. The Rule requires frequent monitoring and repair of methane leaks, specifically targeting routine venting and/or flaring from oil wells, storage tanks or vessels, and production facilities, and establishes a program for third-party monitoring of so-called, super-emitters.

Integration of the Rule has been established through the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) under 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOOb (referred to as ‘Quad Ob’) and applies to sources that commenced construction, modification, or reconstruction after December 6, 2022. Existing sources are regulated under 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOOc (Quad 0c). Quad 0c sets forth the guidelines for individual states to adopt, or alternatively, presents the requirements by which states can follow in establishing their own regulations.

Whether a source is new or existing will heavily influence compliance deadlines, as new source requirements go into effect 60 days from rule publication. Compliance for existing sources is required no later than 36 months after the state plans are due to the EPA (due 2 years following Rule publication), thereby providing up to 5 years for existing sources to come into compliance with the Rule.

Questions? Antea Group can assist your Team with the interpretation of the NSPS Rule and help you determine the applicability of the rule and identify compliance obligations. Please contact us today!

To learn more about the new rule, visit the US EPA’s website.

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