Tim Charters | NSWA Vice President of Governmental Affairs
As NSWA members, you have been at the front of the methane fight against EPA since the first rule was announced. NSWA has been leading this battle in comments to the agencies, meetings on Capitol Hill, and in the courts as litigants against EPA overreach. That ongoing fight resulted in one small win yesterday.
The EPA announced that it is withdrawing the misguided and costly Information Collection Request related to methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations. This should put at least a temporary stop to the existing source rule making related to methane emission. (The full release from EPA is below).
While this win stops the EPA from moving forward NSWA remains committed to pushing back. Our lawsuit against the original new and modified source rule, which recklessly lumped stripper wells in at the very last minute, continues forward.
As always, your support and membership in NSWA is what has made this fight possible and gives us the chance to battle for you in Washington.
Read the following press release from the EPA.
U.S. EPA Media Relations
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations. The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators – including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information – are no longer required to respond.
At this time, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt would like to assess the need for the information that the agency was collecting through these requests. This action also comes after the agency received a letter on March 1, 2017, from nine state Attorneys General and the Governors of Mississippi and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending Information Collection Request for Oil and Gas Facilities.
“By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” said EPA Administrator Pruitt. “Today’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”
Under the previous administration, EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information. The information request comprised of two parts: an “operator survey” that asked for basic information on the numbers and types of equipment at all onshore oil and gas production facilities in the U.S., and a “facility survey” asking for more detailed information on sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices in use by a representative sampling of facilities in several segments of the oil and gas industry. EPA is withdrawing both parts of the information request.