April 12, 2010 EPA published a proposed rule related to greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting from the oil and gas industry, applicable to sectors of the oil and gas industry deemed by EPA to have significant fugitive and vented emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. The comment period is open until June 11, 2010. (40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W; 75 Fed Reg 18607-18650).
EPA previously proposed a version of this rule, but that proposal never became final. The Agency views this proposal as a new regulation and requires that full comments to be submitted, as previously submitted comments on the earlier version of the rule will not be considered. The proposed rule requires reporting of GHG emissions from the following industry segments:
• Onshore petroleum and natural gas production,
• Offshore petroleum and natural gas production,
• Natural gas processing,
• Natural gas transmission compressor stations,
• Underground natural gas storage,
• Liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage,
• LNG import and export terminals, and distribution.
The proposed supplemental rulemaking requires that the named sources monitor and report emissions of GHGs above certain threshold levels. Annual reporting of fugitive and vented carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems facilities, as well as combustion-related CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from flares at those facilities is required. The proposed rule establishes thresholds and frequency for reporting, as well as verification through monitoring, reporting at the facility level and recordkeeping requirements. The proposed rule applies to facilities in the segments of the petroleum and natural gas industry, as listed above, that emit GHGs greater than or equal to 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
This article was authored by Barbara D. Little, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author see here.