Pennsylvania’s New Methane Emission Regulations

Posted by Tanner Sattler on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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On January 19, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf, with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), announced new initiatives for the oil and gas industry to reduce methane emissions and ensure responsible energy development, and the protection of public health and the environment.

In 2016, PADEP will develop and implement four emission-reduction measures focused on both the gas production and transmission facilities. These measures include:

  • Develop a new General Permit (GP) for new unconventional natural gas and oil exploration, development and production facilities to replace the Category No. 38 conditional permit exemption criteria. This new GP will establish Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements for sources, including dehydrators, engines, turbines for compressor engines at well pads, pigging operations, liquid unloading venting, gas processing units, storage tanks, and truck load-outs.
  • Modify the existing General Permit 5 for new compressor stations and processing facilities to include, BAT, more stringent leak detection and repair (LDAR), and the required use of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 diesel engines on-site.
  • Develop a regulation that will establish stringent requirements for existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry.
  • Develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) to include LDAR programs and the reduction in methane emissions from production, gathering, process, and transmission facilities. 

When will this take effect?
Upon issuance of the final federal rule “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources” 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOOa through the EPA, new source performance standards (NSPS) will automatically take effect in Pennsylvania. PADEP will create a State Implementation Plan to enforce proposed EPA regulations on existing sources within 2 years of the regulations’ issuance.

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Source:
“A Pennsylvania Framework of actions for Methane Reductions from the Oil and Gas Sector”, January 19, 2016, http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Air/AirQuality/AQPortalFiles/Methane/DEP%20Methane%20Strategy%201-19-2016%20PDF.pdf

Other information:

PADEP’s Methane Reduction website 

Press release: Governor Wolf Announces New Methane Rules to Improve Air Quality, Reduce Industry Loss 


Categories: Oil & Gas Infrastructure

Tagged: Environmental  |  Pipelines  |  Compressor & Metering Stations  |  Natural Gas  |  Engineering

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