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On July 31, 2020, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) proposed new regulations to reduce vented and fugitive emissions of methane from new and existing natural gas facilities within the state of Maryland. The proposed regulations will be under a new chapter of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR 26.11.41 Control of Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry).

In September 2019, EPA proposed to ease the 2016 NSPS OOOOa requirements. Specifically, reducing the monitoring frequency of fugitive emissions and extending the time frame as to when leaks need to be repaired. MDE is not supportive of these proposed amendments. As such, MDE is proposing standards for new and existing natural gas facilities in Maryland to control methane emissions.

The proposed regulation contains requirements to reduce methane emissions through fugitive emissions detection and repair. It also establishes control measure requirements to limit emissions from compressors and pneumatic devices. In addition, facility-wide greenhouse gas emission data will be required to be calculated and submitted to MDE annually. MDE is also proposing to require natural gas facilities to notify MDE and the public of any blowdown events.

In Maryland, there are four natural gas compressor stations, one liquefied natural gas import/export facility, and one underground storage facility that will be affected by this proposed regulation. All new natural gas compressor stations, underground storage facilities, and LNG facilities will be subject to this proposed regulation.

MDE will hold a virtual public hearing on the proposed regulation on August 31, 2020, at 10am. Comments must be received by 5pm on September 3, 2020 or be submitted at the hearing. The detailed proposed regulation in on Maryland's Register.

For more information how these proposed regulations may affect your facility, or if you would like assistance in preparing comments on this proposed regulation, contact Trinity's Maryland office at 240.379.7490.