Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Federal Court Rejects Efforts To Delay EPA Oil & Gas Methane Control Regulations; Mixed Results In Court So Far

A federal appeals court Monday struck down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 90-day suspension of methane emission standards on oil and gas wells saying the agency had a right to reconsider the 2016 regulation, but could not delay the effective date while it rewrites the rule.
The American Petroleum Institute argued on procedural grounds the court did not review the delay action because it was not a final action by EPA.
“The court says you can consider changing the rules but you have to do it the normal way, with a comment period,” said David Doniger, director of the climate and clean-air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “You can’t yank it out of existence on your say-so.”
An EPA spokesperson said the agency is “reviewing the opinion and examining our options.”
EPA’s oil and gas methane emissions rule is the basis for the action taken by the PA Department of Environmental Protection to adopt its own methane emissions reduction general permits.  The comment period on the proposed DEP actions closed June 5.  (Click Here for more.)
Visit the PA Environmental Council’s Methane Emission website for more information on methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
Mixed Results In Court
The Trump Administration has had mixed results in the courts on other EPA rules---
-- Clean Power Plan: Federal Court granted EPA’s request to suspend action on legal cases against the Clean Power pending a review of the rule (Click Here for more);
-- New Ozone Standard: Federal Court granted a petition by EPA to indefinitely delay oral arguments over the 2015 70 ppb ozone pollution standard, but EPA delayed the effective date to comply with the standard by one year (Click Here for more);
-- Waters Of United States Rule: The U.S. Supreme Court would not delay the implementation of EPA’s Waters of the United States rule in April, however, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they would repeal the rule in June.
-- 2 For 1 Executive Order: Federal Court allowed a challenge to go forward on Trump’s Executive Order requiring 2 regulations to be eliminated for every new one adopted (Click Here for more);
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