As of June 12, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed a notice to propose to implement a two (2) year stay of certain requirements of the "Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emissions Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources" final rule (NSPS OOOOa) published on June 3, 2016. This proposed stay would follow and affect the same requirements as the current three (3) month stay approved on June 5, 2017, which affects the fugitive emissions requirements, well site pneumatic pump standards, and closed vent system certification requirements enacted by the final rule. These requirements include, but are not limited to, performing and reporting leak detection and repair (LDAR) at well sites and compressor stations, professional engineer (PE) certification requirements for closed vent systems, and pneumatic pump requirements at well sites.
Due to specific objections to the requirements of the final rule, the EPA has granted reconsideration of these requirements. This proposed 2 year stay will allow the EPA time to propose, take public comment, and issue final action related to these objections, as well as to perform a broad review of the final 2016 rule to properly address all comments, questions, and objections made by the public and affected industry.
A pre-publication version of this proposed rulemaking can be found here.
In addition to the proposed rulemaking noted above, a second, companion proposed rule has been issued to ensure that there is no gap between the initial 3 month stay and the proposed 2 year stay. This proposed rule removes a potential gap time period between the two stays that could result due to the sixty day delay between the publication of the major rule under the Congressional Review Act and the effective date of the rule. The final action of this proposed rulemaking will result in an additional 3 month stay after the current 3 month stay (set to end on August 31, 2017) but prior to the proposed 2 year stay start date.
A pre-publication version of this proposed rulemaking discussed above can be found here.
It is imperative for potentially affected sites to understand that only certain parts of the regulation have currently been stayed and are included in the proposed stay (although the entire rule may be reviewed). Sites are still required to comply with any applicable parts of NSPS OOOOa that are not included within the current stay of 90 days. This includes complying with applicable requirements for hydraulically fractured and refractured wells, storage vessels, pneumatic controllers, and centrifugal and reciprocating compressors.
Trinity will provide an update as the proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register for public comment. If you have any questions regarding the proposed rulemaking, please contact the Dallas Office at (972) 661-8100.