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States Intend to Sue for Additional Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On December 11, 2012, seven states sent the United States Environmental Protection Agency a Notice of Intent to Sue the agency for failing to address methane, a greenhiouse gas (GHG), emissions from the natural gas industry.  The states assert that, although the revised new source performance standards adopted in August 2012 will have the incidental benefit of reducing methane emissions, U.S. EPA’s “failure to consider directly controlling methane emissions resulted in the omission of controls for certain operations that emit large amounts of methane.”  The states intend to file suit in a federal district court if U.S. EPA does not respond favorably within the allotted 60-day waiting period.

GHGs, which currently are being addressed under various permitting regimes, are not the only air-related subject of increased regulatory oversight.  On December 20, 2012, 30 environmental groups petitioned U.S. EPA to require ozone monitoring in natural gas production areas.