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EPA Announces Updates to NSPS OOOO Air Rule Prior to Key January 1 Deadline

On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized amendments to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry, just a few days in advance of a key regulatory deadline.  Under NSPS Subpart OOOO, each well completion operation with hydraulic fracturing begun on or after January 1, 2015 must comply with so-called “green completion” or reduced emission completion requirements.  In the latest revisions to Subpart OOOO, which have not yet been published in the Federal Register, EPA provides additional detail on how gas and liquids are to be handled during well completion operations.  EPA also addresses a number of other issues, including storage tank standards, in response to petitions received from stakeholders since Subpart OOOO was first promulgated in 2012.  Additional changes to Subpart OOOO may be forthcoming.  In a fact sheet related to the revisions, EPA indicates that this rulemaking responds to just “some” of the issues raised by petitioners, and that the “agency is continuing to evaluate other issues raised in the petitions.”