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EPA Hearing in Dallas on Methane Rule Repeal!

Thursday October 17, 2019, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse 7th floor in the Red River and Live Oak conference rooms 1100 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas

All Hands on Deck for Clean Air!

Oct 17th: EPA Hearing in Dallas on
Methane Rule Repeal!

 

Image Courtesy of Liveable Arlington

There is an important EPA hearing on the Trump rollback of methane rules, also known as the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry next Thursday, Oct, 17th.

This is the ONLY hearing for the entire country and it is to be held in Dallas. We need as many organizations and individuals to sign up for a time slot and participate ASAP.  The sooner you email the EPA coordinator, the more likely you are to get the time slot you desire.

Methane is a product of fracking. It is an odorless gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide during the time it remains in the atmosphere.  It is a precurser of ozone and a climate disrupter. Along with other pollutants (including smog and soot-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carcinogens like benzene), methane escapes into the atmosphere during oil and fracked gas drilling, pumping, processing, and transmission. These leaks not only harm the health of our families and communities, and industry workers -- but also is devastating for the climate.
 
Please spread the word on this.  

Time/Location:
Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse
7th floor from 8 am to 6 pm
in the Red River and Live Oak conference rooms
1100 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas

Assigned speaking times are available through October 14th.  But sign up right away for the best available slots.  We also want to fill up the meeting with citizens instead of industry ASAP.  To sign up to speak at the hearing, go to:
https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/forms/public-hearing-proposed-policy

To learn more about the proposed rules go to:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/09/20/2019-20242/oil-and-natural-gas-sector-emission-standards-for-new-reconstructed-and-modified-sources-review

For questions regarding oral testimony at the hearing, you can also contact EPA rep Virginia Hunt no later than October 14, 2019, by email: hunt.virginia@epa.gov (preferred); or by telephone: (919) 541-0832.

BACKGROUND
The Trump administration’s newly proposed methane rollback rule will sabotage the safeguards to control methane pollution from the fracked oil and gas industry that the Obama administration put in place. During the Obama years, the EPA approved two methane and volatile organic compound control rules known as “New Source Performance Standards,” (NSPS). The rule applied to new oil and gas wells and associated midstream equipment like gas processing plants, storage tanks, and compressor stations. The standards required things like “green completions” at well sites and low-bleed or no-bleed pneumatic devices to redirect gas back to the pipelines that would otherwise have been leaked into the air.  The standards also had established a leak detection and repair (LDAR) program that required operators to look for methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) leaks from their equipment using specialized cameras and also required operators repair those leaks.

The newly proposed Trump rule is a major gutting of these NSPS requirements in two major ways:

1)  The new rule would redefine the industry rule to entirely exclude equipment in the transmission and storage segment from the NSPS program’s emission control requirements. This would leave in place methane and VOC limits for equipment in the production and processing segments only. In other words, compressor stations and storage tanks located along interstate pipelines would be free to emit unlimited amounts of methane along with other harmful pollutants.

2) The proposed rule eliminates any specific controls on methane in the production and processing segments, and is leaving only controls on VOCs to help clean up any fugitive methane.
 
This rule is particularly bad for Texas as we are the leading oil and gas producer in the nation - and unlike some states like Pennsylvania and Colorado, we have no state-specific standards to control methane pollution.

If finalized, the EPA has noted that methane emissions could increase by 370,000 tons, VOC emissions by 10,000 tons, and hazardous air pollutant emissions by 300 tons by 2025. However, other research suggests that emissions could be 60–100% higher (600,000–750,000 additional tons) than EPA estimates.  

The EPA finds that the new rule would save oil and gas companies up to $155 million in avoided compliance costs through 2025, but industry would also lose up to $32 million in revenue due to gas lost into the atmosphere.

WE NEED YOU AT THIS MEETING...
You don’t need to be an expert to comment on this rule rollback. We need people that just care enough to say these rules don’t safeguard you or your family.  If you want some info to add to your talking points, we can provide some. We want you to express your concerns for yourself, your family, and your community.  If you have someone in the family with asthma or a respiratory ailment, talk about the fears you have for those family members.

Written comments can be submitted to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0757 on or before November 25 to the EPA -- but please consider attending this meeting.  Let the Administration know that we understand what these new rules will do - and they are simply not acceptable.

Thanks for any help or participation you can give.  Please contact Rita Beving at rita.beving@gmail.com and let you know what slot the EPA has given you. We are trying to gauge how many citizens versus industry people are signing up and when.  You can also call Rita at 214.557.2271 with your questions.
 
Additional information and updates:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2549287541828635/