The updates to air regulations intend to remove redundant requirements and reduce compliance burdens where environmentally appropriate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed updates to the oil and natural gas industry national standards. The proposal intends to remove regulatory duplication while maintaining health and environmental regulations on oil and gas sources that the agency considers appropriate. The proposal is the result of EPA’s review of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas (O&G) industry conducted in response to Executive Order 13783 – Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth. The goal was to review existing regulations that could potentially “burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources,” including oil and natural gas.
The resulting regulatory impact analysis from EPA estimates that the proposed amendments could save the O&G industry $17-$19 million a year, for a total of $97-$123 million from 2019 through 2025.
“EPA’s proposal delivers on President Trump’s executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The Trump Administration recognizes that methane is valuable, and the industry has an incentive to minimize leaks and maximize its use. Since 1990, natural gas production in the United States has almost doubled while methane emissions across the natural gas industry have fallen by nearly 15%. Our regulations should not stifle this innovation and progress.”
In its primary proposal, the agency is proposing to remove sources in the transmission and storage segment of the O&G industry from regulation. These sources include transmission compressor stations, pneumatic controllers, and underground storage vessels. The agency is proposing that the addition of these sources to the 2016 rule was not appropriate, noting that the agency did not make a separate finding to determine that the emissions from the transmission and storage segment of the industry cause or significantly contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare.
The primary proposal also would rescind emissions limits for methane, from the production and processing segments of the industry; keeping emissions limits for ozone-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These sources include well completions, pneumatic pumps, pneumatic controllers, gathering and boosting compressors, natural gas processing plants and storage tanks. The controls to reduce VOCs emissions also reduce methane at the same time, so separate methane limitations for that segment of the industry are redundant.
In an alternative proposal, EPA would rescind the methane emissions limitations without removing from regulation any sources from the transmission and storage segment of the industry.
The agency also is seeking comment on alternative interpretations of EPA’s legal authority to regulate pollutants under section 111(b)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act.
This proposal is in addition to a September 2018 technical action that proposed targeted improvements to help streamline implementation, reduce duplication of EPA and state requirements, and significantly decrease unnecessary burdens on domestic energy producers. EPA is currently reviewing comments received on that technical package and expects to issue a final rule in the upcoming months.
EPA will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register, and will hold a public hearing. EPA will announce details of the hearing shortly.
More information, including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice and a fact sheet, is available at https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry
Information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of your comments on or before August 28, 2019.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills source category. The EPA is proposing decisions concerning the residual risk and technology review (RTR). The EPA is also proposing amendments to correct and clarify regulatory provisions related to emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM); revise wellhead temperature and pressure operational standards and corrective action to improve system control effectiveness and provide compliance flexibility; reorganize rule text to incorporate provisions from the new source performance standards (NSPS) within this subpart; and add requirements for electronic reporting of performance test results.
The EPA is also proposing minor changes to the MSW Landfills NSPS and Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for MSW Landfills. Specifically, the EPA is proposing to add provisions to the most recent MSW Landfills NSPS and Emission Guidelines (EG) that would allow affected sources to demonstrate compliance with landfill gas control, operating, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements of the most recent NSPS and EG by following the corresponding requirements in the MSW Landfills NESHAP.
Reference: 40 CFR Parts 60 and 63 [EPA–HQ–OAR–2002–0047; FRL–9996–22– OAR] RIN 2060–AU18 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Residual Risk and Technology Review AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule.
SCS Engineers, in collaboration with industry associations and environmental management group leaders, will be reviewing and commenting to EPA. Updates will be posted on our website blog and on SCS LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter channels along with the public docket online at www.regulations.gov.
This article discusses global air quality and how the collaboration between policy-makers and the scientific community can have a continued positive impact on air quality in the U.S. This collaboration has been the primary cause for the improvements observed in air quality over the past few decades.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs, such as the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), New Source Review, and Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards, have all had a significant impact on improving air quality by lowering the ambient concentrations of NOX, VOC, CO, SOX, and PM.
Some areas, such as southern California, have committed to working toward electrifying the transportation network, implementing more stringent standards on diesel fuel sulfur content, and encouraging heavier utilization of public transportation.
Author: SCS Engineers’ Ryan Christman, M.S., is an air quality engineer and environmental management information systems specialist with experience in the oil and gas industry and the solid waste industry. He is just one of SCS’s outstanding Young Professionals.
SCS Engineers periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them. Our most recent SCS Bulletin summarizes the new rules which took effect on October 28, 2016, with compliance obligations under the NSPS Subpart XXX rule beginning November 28, 2016. Originally, states and local air jurisdictions were to submit their proposed EG rules by May 30, 2017; however, there have been some delays in this process, which we condense and detail in this Bulletin. SCS will continually update coverage of this Rule on our website.
EPA recently established expansive new air rules affecting MSW Landfills. Implementation of the new rules places new responsibilities on both the regulated community and regulators alike. However, some of these responsibilities are unclear and have created unresolved issues that should be addressed in close consultation now with your state/local regulatory authority.
For example, if a landfill is “new,” the facility is now subject to NSPS Subpart XXX, which is fully effective. A design capacity and NMOC emissions rate report should already have been submitted.
If NMOC emissions from a facility exceed 34 Mg/yr, then the landfill will need to submit a GCCS design plan within 12 months of the date of exceedance and install and operate within 30 months (no later than May 2019 for those triggering with the promulgation of the rule). If a landfill is an “existing emissions source,” it will be subject to the new EG rule (Subpart Cf).
Landfill owners should maintain close contact with their state/local regulatory authority regarding the status of the regulator’s state implementation plan, due by November 2017. That state implementation plan will prescribe the required compliance dates for an existing landfill, likely to be no later than the 2018/2020 time period. In either case, owners should become familiar with the rule and stayed tuned as compliance guidance evolves to address the unresolved issues.
Getting a firm handle on a solid waste operation and expenses is a challenge for any solid waste agency manager or landfill operator. It is particularly imperative in this era of “lean and mean” budgets and looming regulatory policy. Doing more with less is the watchword for most operations across the country still reeling from the financial impacts of the Great Recession.
SCS Engineers has created a package of articles to help you identify if your landfill, landfill gas, or solid waste operation is ready for 2017. We hope this useful guidance will help you plan for the upcoming year. SCS professionals are always available to answer questions and provide advice. Find the office or SCS professional nearest to you by clicking on one the links here: Offices and Professionals.
Download, print or share this package by using the download button under the articles or by using the navigation at left. The package includes the following information written by SCS National Experts:
Article in Waste360: explains who’s impacted and how to begin managing the costs.
SCS Technical Bulletin: a digest of hundreds of EPA regulatory policy into the information and timelines to act on now.
Article: strategic financial planning to support infrastructure costs.
Do you have NSPS or EG sites per the new definitions of “new” and “existing”?
Does your EG site have any upcoming planned or permitted expansions, or will it be commencing construction on an expansion permitted after July 17, 2014?
Will you need to submit/resubmit Design Capacity and NMOC reports to establish your sites status as subject to the new NSPS? Over, or under 34 Mg/year of NMOCs?
Are you a candidate for Tier 4? In the closed landfill subcategory?
For EG sites contact the SCS state representative by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
SCS Engineers will be publishing Pat Sullivan’s Technical Bulletin Summary of Final NSPS/EG Rules for Landfills as soon as it is published in the federal register. Meanwhile, please contact your SCS Project Manager or email@example.com for answers to your questions or advice. Follow SCS Engineers on your favorite social media site or check our events for new presentations, publications, and webinars explaining the rules in more detail.
Tracie Onstad Bills, Northern California Director, Sustainable Materials Management at SCS Engineers
Thank you for the responses and questions about my blog Minimizing Contamination in Recycling. It seems appropriate to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions and send more advice. Any program should be tailored to your current collection system; what works and what doesn’t work for your locality; the demographics of your community; and how your community views recycling.
In light of those considerations, here are some recommendations for ways to minimize contamination in recyclables:
Learn more about recycling programs by reading Success In Selective Routing – Resource Recycling or the SCS project and case studies below:
As always, feel free to send me your questions and comments. Contact Tracie here.