EPA has announced at least four postponements of upcoming regulations regarding air emissions and air quality.
RMP Rule Amendment
In the final days of the Obama administration, EPA issued amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule. These included additional requirements for process hazard analysis, incident investigation, emergency preparedness, public availability of chemical hazard information, additional regulatory definitions, and audit requirements. In order to give the agency more time to review petitions, hear additional comments, and consider revisions, the new effective date has been moved to February 19, 2019.
Emissions Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources for Oil and Gas; NSPS Subpart OOOOa
EPA has issued a stay on certain parts of OOOOa until August 31, 2017. It is reconsidering the rule as a whole, including fugitive emissions monitoring requirements for well sites and compressor stations. Initially, companies were to have a monitoring plan in place and perform initial LDAR compliance by June 6, 2016. EPA also wants to take another look at the entire rule. For now, they’ve issued a stay on fugitive emissions requirements, PE certifications, and standards for pneumatic pumps at well sites.
EPA has delayed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground level ozone. EPA is giving states another year to develop and refine their air quality plans. Last fall, states were to turn in their recommendations on what to do about those areas which couldn’t reach the 70 ppb standard. Then EPA was to make their final designations and set those recommendations into motion by October of this year. Now those designations have been postponed to October 2018.
Landfill Methane Emissions From Municipal Solid Waste Landfills
Over 1,000 municipal solid waste facilities were going to be impacted by two separate standards relating to methane emissions. EPA has issued a stay until August 29 to reconsider items such as design approval, definition of cover penetration, annual liquids reporting, surface emissions reporting, corrective action timelines, and overlapping requirements. EPA estimates that implementation of the changes as written could cost businesses more than $100 million per year to install and operate gas collection and control systems.