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EPA Reviews National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Retains Current Ozone Limitations



In response to the 2017 Executive Order 13783 - Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in August 2019 its proposal of amending current national air quality standards for the oil and gas industry. Just a few months later, domestic oil and gas have been given their answer: continue the course.


The EPA proposal required two main actions: Emission sources within the Transmission and Storage segment of the industry would no longer be included in the rule, and the Production and Processing facilities would retain their VOC emission limits but rescind limits on methane emissions.


The EPA estimates that withdrawing Transmission and Storage sources from 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) will save domestic producers as a whole around $18 million a year and remove redundancy among 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) regulation for VOCs. Methane and VOC sources falling into both of these rules have arguably caused wasted resources because implementing controls for one will also reduce emissions for the other.


Less than a year after their announcement, the EPA has proposed to maintain the existing 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone, citing its stringent standards to par with the most current scientific evidence and the consultation of independent science advisors known as the Air Scientific Advisory Committee.

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