May 14, 2024

Final Oil and Natural Gas Rule Makes Significant NSPS Changes

On March 8, 2024, EPA promulgated a multi-part final rule updating, strengthening, and expanding NSPS greenhouse gas emission requirements for the oil and natural gas industry. [89 FR 16823] First, the rule creates a new Part 60, Subpart OOOOb, which contains tighter methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emission requirements than Subparts OOOO and OOOOa. Second, emission guidelines for existing sources are established under Part 60, Subpart OOOOc. Third, amendments to Subpart OOOOa address inconsistencies between the methane, VOC, and fugitive emission standards stemming from congressional disapproval of a 2020 NSPS review. Fourth, the agency finalized using optical gas imaging (OGI) for leak detection in a new Part 60, Appendix K, to be applied to Subparts OOOOb and OOOOc.


The final rule comprises a hefty 408 pages of the Federal Register, and so what follows are highlights of EPA’s multi-pronged emissions reduction approach:

Optical gas imaging

Part 60, Appendix K’s OGI protocol is required at natural gas processing plants and contains requirements for:

The final rule is effective May 7, 2024, and more information is available via EPA’s website on controlling air pollution from oil and natural gas operations and via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317.


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