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EPA withdraws information request for the oil and natural gas industry

March 02, 2017
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations. The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators – including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information – are no longer required to respond.

"Today’s announcement is a clear signal that the days of burdensome and costly regulations put on the industry by the Obama administration have come to a close and that developing American energy sources is a priority for the new administration," said Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association Vice President of Governmental Affairs Tim Wigley. "The EPA’s information request was unnecessary and put a financial burden on smaller oil and natural gas operators without the staff or budget to compile the information."

In a press release, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would like to assess the need for the information that the agency was collecting through these requests. This action also comes after the agency received a letter on March 1, 2017, from nine state attorneys general and the governors of Mississippi and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending Information Collection Request for oil and gas facilities.

“By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” Pruitt said in a press release. “Today’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”

Under the previous administration, EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information. The information request comprised of two parts: an “operator survey” that asked for basic information on the numbers and types of equipment at all onshore oil and gas production facilities in the U.S., and a “facility survey” asking for more detailed information on sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices in use by a representative sampling of facilities in several segments of the oil and gas industry. EPA is withdrawing both parts of the information request.
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