The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday provided more details on its proposal to pause the rule now in place controlling methane emissions from oil and gas drilling operations saying its review would take 2 years while it reconsiders the regulation.
The Environmental Defense Fund and other groups filed a lawsuit last week over its decision to pause the rule.
In a fact sheet, EDF said over 800 new and modified wells would be affected by EPA’s decision to pause the rule in Pennsylvania causing an estimated 500 tons of methane pollution, 140 tons of volatile organic compound pollution and 5 tons of hazardous air pollutants.
Pennsylvania does have in place methane leak detection and repair requirements, including quarterly inspections for compressor stations issued permits after mid-2013. A voluntary leak detection program for well sites is also in place.
The Department of Environmental Protection is now going through the process of updating its General Permit GP-5 and GP-5A with more stringent methane emission requirements, prompted by the EPA rule. The comment period for these proposed changes closed on June 5.
Questions about the EDF information should be directed to Stacy MacDiarmid at 512-691-3439 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo: EDF map of Pennsylvania gas wells affected by the proposed EPA pause.)