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Energy Workforce Forms Working Group on EPA Propose Expanded Methane Regulation

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a supplemental proposed rule regarding methane and other emissions, which will expand on the 2021 proposed methane regulation. This rule has components that could be extremely impactful to Energy Workforce Member Companies.  EPA summarizes the 504-page supplemental rule to include the following new provisions:

  • Ensure that all well sites are routinely monitored for leaks, with requirements based on the type and amount of equipment on site;
  • Encourage the deployment of innovative and advanced monitoring technologies by establishing performance requirements that can be met by a broader array of technologies;
  • Prevent leaks from abandoned and unplugged wells by requiring documentation that well sites are properly closed and plugged before monitoring is allowed to end;
  • Leverage qualified expert monitoring to identify “super-emitters” for prompt mitigation;
  • Strengthen requirements for flares to ensure they are properly operated to reduce emissions;
  • Set a zero-emissions standard for pneumatic pumps at affected facilities in all segments of the industry, with exceptions limited to sites without access to electricity;
  • Establish emission standards for dry seal compressors, which are currently unregulated; and
  • Require owners/operators of oil wells with associated gas to implement alternatives to flaring the gas, unless they submit a certified demonstration that all alternatives are not feasible for technical or safety reasons.
  • The updated requirements EPA is proposing would apply to both the Agency’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new, modified and reconstructed sources, and as presumptive standards to assist states in developing plans under the proposed Emissions Guidelines for existing sources.

Energy Workforce is forming a working group to submit a formal response to this supplemental proposed rule and will participate in an upcoming public forum on behalf of the sector, with a February 13, 2023 response deadline.  If your company is interested in joining this working group, contact Energy Workforce Senior Director Government Affairs Deidre Kohlrus.

EPA has released a draft of this supplemental rule, which is expected to be posted to the Federal Register in the coming days, at which point we will provide additional details to members and further discussions of implications to our sector.  A fact sheet with additional summaries of this proposed supplemental rule was also released.

If you are interested in Energy Workforce’s advocacy efforts or would like to join the Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.

Deidre Almstead Kohlrus, Senior Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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