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gas flaring

EPA’s Final Methane Emissions Rule Unveiled

gas flaringThe EPA has unveiled final regulations to limit methane emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector.

The final rules are similar to the EPA’s methane emissions proposal released last summer. They require the industry to repair leaks and limit emissions from wells, pumps and other equipment use in oil and gas production. The final rule also removes an exemption for low production wells and requires leak monitoring surveys twice as often at compressor stations, which the EPA says has the potential for significant emissions.

The agency expects the final standards for new and modified sources to reduce 510,000 short tons of methane in 2025. It estimates the final rule will yield climate benefits of $690 million in 2025, which the EPA says will outweigh estimated costs of $530 million in 2025.

The EPA is also developing regulations to limit methane releases from existing oil and gas wells.

The new regulations will play a major role in achieving the Obama administration’s goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 percent to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. Methane emissions are 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Earlier this year the US Interior Department proposed a methane emissions rule to limit venting, flaring and leaking from oil and gas operations on public and American Indian lands.

Business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce have attacked the rule and said it will “deprive manufacturers and other energy consumers of critical energy supplies, increase operating costs and threaten international competitiveness.”

Photo Credit: gas flaring via Shutterstock

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