Regulation Database – Oil and Gas Sector

New Source Performance Standard for Oil and Gas Sector

On June 3, 2016, EPA published a final rule setting NSPS for greenhouse gases (namely methane) and volatile organic compounds, applicable to new, modified, and reconstructed facilities in the oil and gas sector. Affected facilities include well sites, gathering and boosting stations, processing plants, and compressor stations.

Litigation: The methane emission standards were challenged in North Dakota v. EPA, No. 16-1242 (D.C. Cir. 2016). State and industry petitioners argued that the rule exceeded EPA’s statutory authority, was unconstitutional, and was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law. On January 4, 2017 the case was consolidated with American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, No. 13-1108 (D.C. Cir. 2013) and Independent Petroleum Association of America, et al. v. EPA, No. 15-1040 (D.C. Cir. 2015). On January 24, 2017 state and industry petitioners filed a motion asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay the briefing schedule to “allow time for new administration personnel to be briefed on the rules, issues, and history of this litigation, and it would allow them to provide meaningful input on the parties’ discussions regarding the briefing schedule and format.”
Deregulatory Action: On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order instructing EPA to review the oil and gas rule and to rescind or rewrite the rule as needed to promote the President’s goals of energy independence and economic growth. EPA immediately submitted a motion to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to hold the case in abeyance pending EPA’s reconsideration of the rule. The court granted EPA’s request on May 18, 2017.

On April 4, 2017, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it is reviewing and, if appropriate, will initiate proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind the rule.