EPA seeks input on emission standards for new sources in the oil and natural gas sector
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. The panel is part of a standard federal government process and will focus on the agency’s development of a rule that proposes to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, including methane, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) under its New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry. EPA will build on the cost-effective standards, issued in 2012, that are currently in place for several sources in the oil and natural gas industry. The agency intends to add equipment and processes to those sources currently covered by the standards. Equipment and processes the agency is considering adding include hydraulically fractured oil wells, pneumatic pumps, and leaks from new and modified well sites and compressor stations.
On Jan. 14, 2015, the Obama Administration announced its next steps to cut methane emission under the March 2014 Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. That strategy, part of the administration’s Climate Action Plan, identified the oil and gas industry as a key source of methane emissions and set out a series of steps to reduce those emissions while allowing continued responsible growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production.
As part of that strategy, in April 15, 2014, EPA released for external peer review and public input five technical white papers on potentially significant sources of emissions in the oil and gas sector. The white papers set out data and information available to the agency at that time on potentially significant sources of emissions in the oil and gas sector, and options for reducing those emissions. EPA used the papers, along with the input received from the peer reviewers and the public, to identify potential common sense, cost-effective approaches to achieve emission reduction from these sources. Peer reviewers’ comments, and instructions for reading input from the public are available on EPA’s websitewww.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/whitepapers.html.
EPA anticipates proposing a rule this summer and taking final action in 2016.
The panel is being established pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The panel members ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of their company, community, or organization to inform the panel members about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities.
EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.
Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by February 11, 2015.
Nominate yourself as a SER: http://www.epa.gov/sbrefa/
More information about EPA’s strategy for reducing air pollution form the oil and gas industry: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/pdfs/20150114fs.pdf F
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