Trump Executive Order Withdraws Obama Administration Actions on Climate Change and Requires Review of Regulations Affecting Energy Sector

On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” with the stated policy of “promot[ing] clean and safe development” of domestic energy resources and ensuring an affordabl(…)

EPA Releases Key Methane Reduction Measures and Final Source Aggregation Rule

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of several highly-anticipated regulatory measures affecting both existing and new emission sources in the oil and natural gas sector.  EPA has released the pre-publication(…)

Pennsylvania DEP Expanding Air Monitoring Network Near Natural Gas Development

On April 27, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that it has initiated an “unprecedented expansion” of the Commonwealth’s particulate matter air monitoring network to include additional monitors in areas near(…)

Ohio EPA Seeks Comment on Draft General Permits for Compressor Stations

On April 7, 2016, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) announced a public comment period for a package of draft general permits for oil and natural gas midstream compressor stations.  Applicants seeking coverage under a general permit would(…)

Publication of OSHA’s Final Rule on Silica Expected

Last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that OSHA may publish its final rule on occupational exposure to crystalline silica as soon as February 2016. Safety + Health Magazine further reports that OSHA has sent a draft of its final rule to the(…)

Public Hearings Announced for EPA Air Rules Targeting Oil and Gas Sector

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will host three public hearings in September regarding proposed Clean Air Act rulemaking actions that will affect the oil and gas industry.  Two hearings will be held in Denver and(…)

EPA Announces Rulemaking Proposal to Curb Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally announced its highly-anticipated proposal to regulate methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector.  Specifically, EPA is proposing to amend the New Source Performance Standards (N(…)

EPA Revises Low Pressure Gas Well and Storage Vessel Definitions for NSPS Subpart OOOO

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising important definitions in the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule for the oil and gas sector, NSPS Subpart OOOO, in response to stakeholder petitions.  In a final rule published today,(…)

OMB Begins Review of EPA Proposals to Curb Methane Emissions, Define Major Source

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a highly-anticipated proposed rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for interagency review that would address methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector.  E(…)

Pennsylvania DEP Releases 2013 Emissions Inventory for Natural Gas Industry

Earlier this week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released the 2013 air emissions inventory for the natural gas industry.  Operators submit emissions data to DEP on an annual basis.  Compared to 2012, the 2013 inventory i(…)

Pennsylvania Natural Gas Operator Prevails in Air Aggregation Case

Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of a natural gas operator in a closely-watched case involving air aggregation issues.  In 2011, Citizens for Pennsylvania(…)

West Virginia DEP to Host and Livestream Meeting to Discuss Division of Air Quality’s New General Permit for Natural Gas Activities

The West Virginia Division of Air Quality will release a new general air quality permit, the G80-A, which will regulate air quality in regard to natural gas production, compressor and dehydration facilities.  On February 5, 2014, the DEP will host a m(…)

PADEP Finalizes Changes to GP-5 Air Permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has finalized revisions to the General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit (BAQ-GPA/GP-5 or General Permit) for Natural Gas Compression and/or Processing Facilities (known as “GP-(…)

Pennsylvania DEP Proposes Changes to GP-5 Air Permit for Compression, Processing Facilities

On Saturday, November 15th, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published proposed changes to its General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit (BAQ-GPA/GP-5 or General Permit) for Natural Gas Compression and/or Proce(…)

Environmental Advocacy Groups Call for National Methane Emission Standards

On September 18, 2014, sixteen of the nation’s largest environmental advocacy groups joined forces in a letter to President Barack Obama calling for national standards aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  The letter urged(…)

EPA Seeks Comment on Methane and VOC White Papers

On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released five technical white papers for peer review, each one focusing on a possible source of methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions within the oil and natural gas sect(…)

PADEP Releases 2012 Emissions Data

This week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced the availability of emissions data from oil and gas operations in the Commonwealth.  According to the PADEP press release, the data represents “2012 emissions levels f(…)

EPA Proposes Amendments to Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposal to amend Subpart W of the greenhouse gas reporting program rules, which affects the Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems source category.  According to EPA’s fact sheet, “[t]he(…)

Pennsylvania DEP Releases Guidance to Assist Operators with Well Integrity Assessments and Air Permitting Issues

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently published on its website a series of video training tutorials to provide guidance on how to complete quarterly well inspections under the Mechanical Integrity Assessment (MIA) requ(…)

Title V Facilities in Pennsylvania to Pay $85 Per Ton of Regulated Pollutant Emissions

On December 14, 2013, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) amended the Title V annual emission fee assessed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Bureau of Air Quality, increasing the fee to $85 per ton of “regulated poll(…)

Revisions to Storage Tank Air Regulations Effective Immediately

Earlier this week, U.S. EPA published final revisions to the New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector (i.e., 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO).  As discussed in a previous post, EPA has made significant changes to the provisions affe(…)

Methane Emissions from Well Sites Found to be Lower than Previously Estimated

Last week the University of Texas, in conjunction with the Environmental Defense Fund and 9 companies involved in natural gas production, released a study which found that 0.42% of natural gas produced in the U.S. is emitted into the atmosphere as met(…)

West Virginia Air Quality not Endangered by Fracking

A report created by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas, which was anticipated pursuant to previous studies conducted by the DEP, indicates that no new rules are necessary to protect West Virginia’s air qua(…)

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Calls for Environmentally Safe Natural Gas Extraction

Recently confirmed U. S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke at a forum at the University of Colorado School of Law on August 14 and addressed President Obama’s Climate Action Plan before participating in a panel discussion.   In her remarks, McCart(…)

Pennsylvania Narrows Air Permit Exemption for Unconventional Well Sites

On August 8, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced significant changes to its air permitting policy regarding unconventional gas well sites.  Pursuant to the state Air Pollution Control Act, PADEP may identify(…)

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Releases Details on Ongoing Air Quality Study

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) recently announced that its long-term Marcellus air sampling study in southwestern Pennsylvania will continue for the remainder of the 2013 year.  PADEP also released a guidance document(…)

EPA Finalizes Changes to Air Regulation Affecting Oil and Gas Storage Vessels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the pre-publication version of its final revisions to the New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector (i.e., 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO).  EPA made significant changes to(…)

McCarthy Confirmed as Top EPA Administrator After Months of Delay

On July 18, 2013, the full U.S. Senate voted to confirm Gina McCarthy as the next U.S. EPA Administrator.  The Senate voted 59-40 in favor of President Obama’s controversial nominee, after months of delay.  The President formally nominated McCarthy in(…)

Obama Climate Change Policy Expected to Increase Gas Demand

On Tuesday, President Obama announced his long-awaited “Climate Action Plan,” which focuses largely on restricting carbon emissions from power plants.  Demand for natural gas is expected to increase as a result.

Inspector General to Investigate U.S. EPA Efforts to Reduce Methane Leaks from Distribution Lines

According to recent reports, the Inspector General (IG) has informed officials at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) that an investigation will be conducted in connection with the agency’s efforts to reduce methane emissions(…)

WVDEP Extends Comment Period for Air General Permit for Well Site Activities

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality (DAQ) recently extended the public comment period for the draft Class II General Permit G70-A for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in regard to the Constructi(…)

Two Federal Agencies to Cooperate in Study of Air Issues at Drilling Sites

This week the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safe(…)

EPA Announces Comment Period for Proposed Revisions to Air Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed revisions (described in an earlier post) to certain new source performance standards affecting the oil and natural gas sector were published today in the Federal Register, marking the beginning of th(…)

U.S. EPA Withdraws Rule Changing Deadline for Requesting Alternative Calculation Method for Greenhouse Gas Reporting

On April 2, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a direct final rule it issued in February 2013 that required oil and natural gas companies to submit by June 30th of each year a request to use alternative calculation methods f(…)

U.S. EPA Proposing Changes to Air Rule Affecting Tanks Used in Oil and Natural Gas Production

On March 28, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a pre-publication version of proposed amendments to the Oil and Natural Gas Sector New Source Performance Standards (NSPS).  EPA published the final oil and gas NSPS in August(…)