Changes are coming to federal and state air quality regulations affecting new and existing upstream and midstream natural gas operations. Congress is in the midst of finalizing legislation to undo a Trump administration Clean Air Act (CAA) rule rolling back contentious components of Obama-era CAA rules. Separately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun developing rules for existing air emissions sources within the natural gas sector. At the state level, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is poised later this year to finalize its own set of air regulations for existing sources within the natural gas sector.
- Congress Set to Disapprove Trump EPA Oil and Natural Gas CAA Rule
In March, Congress invoked its rarely used Congressional Review Act (CRA) authority to rescind a Trump EPA rule that excluded emission sources in the transmission and storage segments and rescinded methane emission limits for the production and processing segments in New Source Performance Standards for the Crude Oil and Natural Gas Industry at 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subparts OOOO and OOOOa (NSPS). See Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emissions Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Review, 85 Fed. Reg. 57018 (Sept. 14, 2020). Reinstating the NSPS methane requirements would most likely mean that the EPA would again be required to regulate methane emissions from existing affected sources within the natural gas sector.