IPAA files litigation over EPA’s final methane regulations

8/3/2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday afternoon, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) led efforts on two legal actions against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to its new regulations governing methane emissions for the oil and natural gas industry. IPAA, along with the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC), and a number of coalition partners filed suit against EPA’s methane rule in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Additionally, IPAA, AXPC, and a number of state energy trade associations sent a request to the EPA for administrative reconsideration of its final methane emissions rule for new and modified sources (Subpart OOOOa) published on June 3.

“Independent producers were forced to file these two actions against EPA because we found significant elements of the agency’s new regulatory scheme to be excessive, uneconomic, and threatening to the long-term production of oil and natural gas in the United States without corresponding environmental benefits,” said Lee Fuller, IPAA executive V.P. “After more than a year of trying to communicate industry’s concerns to the EPA on the economic burdens associated with this new rule, during an already economically challenging time for the industry, independent producers were compelled to pursue legal pathways since the final rule omits flexibility for smaller, independent companies.”

Additionally, yesterday, IPAA led a coalition group in submitting formal comments to EPA on its information-gathering request on industry operations, which is intended to make EPA’s regulations governing oil and natural gas facilities more effective and workable. In June, EPA announced its intent to develop nationwide oil and natural gas production methane regulations for existing sources. The first step in that process is an Information Collection Request (ICR) under the Paperwork Reduction Act. While the ICR process could provide EPA with the understanding it needs to develop cost effective, environmentally appropriate existing source regulations, EPA’s proposal fails to meet this test. The energy trade associations urged the agency to take the opportunity to truly get a firm understanding of the complex U.S. oil and natural gas industry using already publicly available state permitting data instead of requiring industry to duplicate the same information.

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