November 7, 2016
On October 20, 2016 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they had finalized new guidelines to reduce emissions of ozone-forming pollutants for oil and gas drilling sites according to a report from The Hill. In a fact sheet EPA said its final guidelines are part of its strategy, announced in January 2015, to reduce harmful pollution from the large and complex oil and natural gas industry.
EPA’s new guidelines are nonbinding. But they’re designed to help states that have not met federal ozone limits, laying out ways for those states to reduce ozone-causing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas sites.
The regulations are part of an Obama administration strategy to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
VOC emissions controls at oil and gas drilling sites also reduce methane, and the EPA predicts the new guidelines will cut 200,000 tons of methane pollution.
EPA’s new guidelines direct states to reduce VOC emissions from sources along the oil and gas production process, from storage tanks to transmission lines and pipelines. The guidelines cover 28 areas across the country that do not meet federal ozone requirements, as well as 11 states in the Northeast.
The oil and gas industry hit back against the regulations saying officials shouldn’t finalize new limits on the industry until they collect more pollution information from producers.
The October 20th regulations come after an Obama administration assault on methane emissions around the United States. The EPA has issued limits on methane leaks at new oil and gas drilling sites. It’s currently writing new rules for existing drilling sites, but those are unlikely to be finalized until the next administration.
What this means to you
EPA has finalized new guidelines to reduce emissions of ozone-forming pollutants for oil and gas drilling sites. EPA’s guidelines are nonbinding, but designed to help states that have not met federal ozone limits to find ways to reduce ozone-causing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas sites. An EPA fact sheet is available.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for help meeting stationary engine emission limits for NOx and VOCs.