EPA Releases Final Rule Regulating Methane for Oil and Gas Sector

January 2024

Environmental, Energy, & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 4, Number 4

As a part of the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Final Rule on December 2, 2023, under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) to significantly reduce the emissions of methane and other harmful air pollution from oil and natural gas operations. This Final Rule directly affects oil and natural gas operations as they are the largest industrial source of methane pollution in the U.S., producing nearly 30 percent of all methane emissions in the country. For the first time, existing sources nationwide are incorporated in the reduction. New Source Performance Standards are included to reduce methane and smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOC) from new, modified, and reconstructed sources. The Final Rule also includes Emissions Guidelines, which set procedures for states to follow as they develop plans to limit methane from existing sources.

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