The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following. If you’re a reporter and would like to speak with an expert on this rule please email us.
On July 31, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered EPA – which had tried to stay the June 2017 compliance deadline for the leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements included in the 2016 rule — to enforce the LDAR requirements immediately. Compliance reports were due to EPA on October 31, 2017; environmental groups have filed FOIA requests to obtain the reports but EPA has not responded.
On March 12, 2018, EPA published a final amendment to the rule that allows leaks to go unrepaired during unscheduled or emergency shutdowns, saying repairing them could lead to service disruptions.
Why it Matters
Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is a significant component of natural gas. In 2012, EPA set standards for volatile organic compounds for new hydraulically fractured and re-fractured natural gas wells and well-pad equipment that, when implemented, also resulted in reductions in methane pollution from those sources, In 2016, EPA issued the first rule expressly targeting methane emissions from fracked and re-fracked oil and gas well-head, well pad, and transport equipment and operations.