The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed regulations on methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic air emissions for the oil and natural gas industry, which would apply to new, modified and reconstructed sources.
“Today, we are underscoring the Administration’s commitment to finding commonsense ways to cut methane — a potent greenhouse gas fueling climate change — and other harmful pollution from the oil and gas sector,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Together these new actions will protect public health and reduce pollution linked to cancer and other serious health effects while allowing industry to continue to grow and provide a vital source of energy for Americans across the country.”
The agency is also proposing measures that would control emissions from existing sources, beginning with a public comment period on an Information Collection Request (ICR) that garners necessary information from companies.
Methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of global warming, and is the second most emitted greenhouse gas in the country. The oil and gas industry, in its efforts to produce, transmit and distribute natural gas, accounts for approximately one third of those emissions.
These new regulations are intended to bring the President Obama’s goal of cutting methane emissions from the industry by 40 percent to 45 percent of the 2012 levels by 2025.