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EPA wants region-wide emission inventories

June 01, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Administrator, Dr. Al Armendariz, invited a number of oil and gas trade associations, company representatives, and state environmental/natural resource/oil and gas regulatory agencies to Dallas on May 10 to discuss oil and gas air emissions and their role in the new 8-hour ozone standard that EPA plans to make more stringent.  

During the meeting, Dr. Armendariz stated he wants a regional approach to gather detailed emission inventory data from all oil and gas production sites on a county by county basis.  He suggested an approach similar to New Mexico’s participation in the Western Governors Association emissions inventory or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s special inventory recently initiated in the Barnett Shale development area.  

Dr. Armendariz suggested that oil and gas trade associations fund this effort and utilize consultants, non-profit research institutes, or universities to collect the information.  He stated that that if industry was not interested in participating in his proposed approach, he would consider issuing Clean Air Act Section 114 letters to each operator in the 5 states to force companies to develop inventories and submit the information directly to the EPA.

A number of concerns were raised by the state air agencies including the usurping of their delegated air program authority to address this issue.  Industry expressed concerns on funding a study and its acceptance by EPA and environmental groups, estimating and modeling future industry growth, the impacts to small oil and gas businesses, and other similar issues.   Additionally, EPA is not targeting other industry sectors with the same region-wide detailed emission inventory request even though they may be contributing to ozone non-attainment.

EPA asked industry trade associations to respond by the end of June regarding their thoughts on a coordinated regional approach.  Industry trade associations will be working together to provide a response to EPA.  OIPA will be participating in this effort and will provide more information as it becomes available.  

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