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Breaking News: Comment Period Extended for Proposed Oil & Gas Rules and U.S. EPA Has Issued a Request for Additional Data

Posted: November 10th, 2015

Authors: JP K. 

ALL4’s Oil and Gas Sector initiative team has posted several blogs recently about the August 18, 2015 proposed oil and gas rules.  This blog provides readers a timely summary of U.S. EPA’s two (2) newest actions related to the proposed oil and gas rules.

The U.S. EPA’s two (2) newest actions are:

  1. November 3, 2015 – U.S. EPA Extends comment period for proposed oil and gas rules
  2. November 4, 2015 – U.S. EPA requests information on hazardous air pollution (HAP) from the production, transmission, and storage segments

Comment Period Extension

If you found yourself overwhelmed with the task of reviewing and preparing comments for several complex, highly technical, and interrelated proposals, you will be thrilled to learn that U.S. EPA is extending the comment period.  So here is a summary of what you need to know:

To what does the extension apply?

  1. Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector.
  2. Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources.
  3. Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country.
  4. Release of Draft Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry.

How long is the extension? What’s the new deadline?

  • The extension provides 17 additional days to submit written comments.
  • The new deadline to submit written comments is December 4, 2015.

This extension boils down to eleven (11) business days, excluding the Thanksgiving Day holidays.  I will be the first to say that this extension is far better than no extension.  However, it doesn’t provide much breathing room.  As Megan S. said it in her October 26, 2015 blog, “If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider how these proposed actions may adversely affect your operations and to prepare comments to voice your concerns on the record”.

HAP Data Request

EPA has issued a request for additional data and information on HAP emissions that were not available in 2012 when U.S. EPA revised the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for oil and natural gas production facilities, and natural gas transmission and storage source categories.  Specifically, the U.S. EPA established the 2012 NESHAP emission standards for BTEX based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for a subcategory of glycol dehydrators referred to as the “small glycol dehydration units.” This data request is meant to obtain additional information regarding these small glycol dehydration units.  Furthermore, this data request also aims to gather information concerning a recently identified potential compliance demonstration issue with respect to the 2012 BTEX MACT standards for small glycol dehydration units.  The compliance demonstration issue relates to low BTEX inlet concentrations and equations that may result in emission standards that are below the detection limit for the reference test method used to demonstrate compliance.  If you would like more detail than what’s provided here, please give me a call.

Does this data request apply to me?

  • This action applies to oil and natural gas production facilities and natural gas transmission and storage source categories.
  • The applicable NAICS codes listed by U.S. EPA include the following:

What data is being requested?

  • Data on storage vessels without potential flash emissions (PFE).
  • Data on HAP emissions from regulated small glycol dehydrators.
    • Particularly data regarding any emissions of HAP other than benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX).
    • Information on available control options for any such HAP emissions.
    • Information regarding a potential compliance demonstration issue with respect to the 2012 standards for small glycol dehydration units, as they apply to units with very low emissions.

What is the deadline for submitting written information/comments?

  • The deadline is TBD, but a 60-day comment period will be provided from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Bonus Item!

  • Be sure to consider if any of the information that you are submitting contains CBI.

My contact information is (610) 933-5246, extension 120 or jkleinle@all4inc.com.   I’d love to hear from you.


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