News

EPA Finalizes Oil and Gas Methane Rules

On May 12, EPA finalized a set of rules to directly or indirectly reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from upstream and midstream oil and natural gas (O&G) production activities. The rules consist of:

  • A 'New Source Performance Standard' Subpart OOOOa (affects new and modified sources) A nation-wide Federal Implementation Plan for minor sources in Indian Country (affects new and modified sources)
  • An industry-specific clarification of the physical and functional boundaries of a facility (affects new and existing sources)
  • Draft emissions Control Technology Guidelines (will affect existing sources in or near ozone non-attainment areas)
  • A proposed Information Collection Request to support future regulations for existing sources
  • ....

EPA Finalizes Oil and Gas Methane Rules2018-08-21T14:41:06+00:00

Billings, Montana, SO2 Attainment Designation

In August of 2013, EPA designated a limited area surrounding a now-decomissioned coal-fired power plant in the Billings area as not attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. We reported previously on this site that EPA proposed, on March 7th, to change that designation to one of attainment. The attainment designation is now final as of May 10, 2016. The Federal Register publication of the final redesignation is available at this federalregister.gov page.  

Billings, Montana, SO2 Attainment Designation2016-05-17T15:29:30+00:00

EPA Targets Methane Emissions from Existing O&G Wells

The EPA announced on March 10th its intent to create a new rule limiting methane emissions from existing oil and natural gas production wells. The new rule would add another layer of regulation to a complex and rapidly expanding framework of air quality-related requirements for the industry: EPA developed emissions performance standards for new and modified O&G production sources in 2012. Major revisions increasing the stringency of the standards were proposed September 18, 2015. The rule is directed toward limiting VOC emissions, but EPA emphasizes the collateral benefits of reducing emissions of methane. EPA has proposed a new rule that

EPA Targets Methane Emissions from Existing O&G Wells2018-08-21T14:41:06+00:00

Sulfur Dioxide Redesignation Proposed for Billings, Montana

On March 7th, EPA proposed to change the attainment designation for the 1-hour SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard in Billings, Montana. A limited area surrounding the former PPL Corette power plant was designated as not attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS in August of 2013 following a recommendation by then-Governor Schwieitzer that all of Montana should be designated as attaining the standard. Analyses conducted by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality indicated that high SO2 concentrations in the past had resulted primarily from a limited set of exceptional events and from emissions originating with the Corette coal-fired power plant,

Sulfur Dioxide Redesignation Proposed for Billings, Montana2016-03-15T21:11:09+00:00

Air Quality Permitting and Sage Grouse

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality Air Resources Management Bureau has notified all Montana air quality permit holders that, depending on a facility’s location, future air permit applications may require an additional step. If your facility is within a designated sage grouse area and you plan to modify your permit, before submitting a permit application you will need to consult with the Montana Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program. The MSGHCP has developed a useful website (sagegrouse.mt.gov) that walks an applicant through initiating a consultation. The site includes an interactive map that will help identify whether the project is located in

Air Quality Permitting and Sage Grouse2018-08-21T14:41:06+00:00