EPA releases draft of New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program for oil and gas E&P facilities.

September 26, 2018

On August 23, 2018, EPA announced and published a draft version of its New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program tailored for the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (E&P) sector. According to EPA, this program is focused on the E&P segment due to significant excess emissions and noncompliance that has been observed at these facilities.

EPA says the New Owner Audit Program provides an effort to incentivize new owners to view acquisitions as an opportunity for a “fresh start” with these types of facilities. All new owners who initiate the Audit Program and satisfactorily meet all applicable requirements will receive clearly defined civil penalty mitigation measures that exceed EPA’s Audit Policy (April 2000)1 and EPA’s New Owners Policy.

The program initially will be made available to upstream exploration and production sites where EPA and states have seen significant noncompliance. EPA believes offering additional flexibilities under a specific and tailored new owner audit program will make it easier for the regulated community to self-disclose and correct violations, thereby providing additional protection for public health and the environment.

A key program component will require that companies assess storage tank battery vapor control system design as part of the audit process.
EPA has developed a draft standard audit program agreement template and will be conducting outreach and seeking feedback from states, tribes, the regulated community, environmental NGOs and other stakeholders on the draft agreement. EPA has also published an extensive and helpful Q & A on the oil and natural gas new owner audit program.

What this means to you
EPA’s New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program targets the oil and gas E&P segment due to its significant excess emissions and noncompliance. EPA says its program provides incentive for new owners to view acquisitions as an opportunity for a “fresh start” with these types of facilities.

MIRATECH can help
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