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Obama-era oil and gas rules placed on hold

EPA reconsidering regs for fugitive emissions, pneumatic pumps

Posted June 2, 2017

On May 31, EPA officially placed on hold portions of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry while the agency reconsiders the rule.

The Agency issued a 90-day stay of the regulations applying to:

  • Fugitive emissions,
  • Pneumatic pumps, and
  • Professional engineer certification requirements.

Well sites do not need to comply with these requirements while the 90-day hold is in effect. EPA says this action is in response to President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order, which directed the agency to review the oil and gas rules.

Since issuing the final rules for oil and natural gas sources on June 3, 2016, EPA has received several petitions to reconsider parts of the NSPS. On April 18, 2017, EPA promised to reconsider certain aspects of the rule, including the fugitive emissions requirements.

According to EPA, oil and natural gas activities are the largest industrial source of methane and volatile organic compounds. The 2016 NSPS were intended to reduce emissions of these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

EPA plans to prepare a new proposed rule for oil and natural gas sources. The public will be given a chance to comment.

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