EPA Expands Air Quality and Climate Change Regulations

What impact will the new ozone rule and proposed new methane and VOC emissions limits have on businesses?

October 08, 2015

Client Alert: EPA Proposes New Methane and VOC Emissions Limits.

On September 18, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new limits on emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOC) for oil and natural gas operations, including production, processing, transmission and storage. The proposal adds methane standards for certain new, modified and reconstructed sources currently regulated for VOC, and methane and VOC standards for currently unregulated sources. EPA cites the global warming potential of methane as the primary justification for establishing new standards for this pollutant. Sectors potentially affected by the proposed standards include:

  • Crude petroleum and natural gas extraction
  • Natural gas liquid extraction
  • Natural gas distribution
  • Pipeline distribution of crude oil
  • Pipeline transportation of natural gas

Specific operations, equipment and processes subject to the proposed standards include:

  • Well completions
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Pneumatic pumps
  • Pneumatic controllers, centrifugal compressors and reciprocating compressors
  • Equipment leaks at natural gas processing plants

For more information download the full Client Alert.

Media Coverage: New Ozone Rule Poses Additional Compliance Challenges

Law360 interviewed Latham & Watkins partner Michael Carroll on the impact the EPA's stricter ozone rule will have on businesses. “Those of us who practice in California [and] have been dealing with extreme ozone nonattainment areas for a long time know all too well, and facilities that operate out here know all too well, the difficulties associated with some of the requirements that kick in once an area is designated a nonattainment area,” Carroll said. For more information download the full article.

Upcoming Webcast: Air & Climate Forecast: October 2015 - New EPA Regulations Proposed for Oil and Natural Gas Sector and Final Ozone Standards (October 21, 2015)

This extended 60-minute webcast, presented by the Air Quality and Climate Change Practice at Latham & Watkins, will address the latest air quality and climate change regulatory and policy updates. Topics include:

  • Proposed amendments to the oil and natural gas new source performance standards (NSPS)
  • EPA's oil and natural gas aggregation proposal
  • Recent Developments in oil and gas regulation on public lands
  • Final Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Register now to attend the webcast.


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