EPA Completes Rollback of Obama-Era Methane Regulations

The new rules are significantly less stringent in mandating repair of methane leaks and regulation of emissions.

1 minute read

August 26, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink


Lano Lan / Shutterstock

Earlier this month, the EPA announced a rule that shifts the focus on direct methane regulation to volatile organic compounds. This final rollback is the last step in the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle emissions regulations instituted during the Obama administration.

"The rules replacing the Obama standard provide laxer requirements for how new and modified oil and gas production and processing operations must find and repair methane leaks, a significant contributor to climate change. Owners of transmission and storage infrastructure, which faced requirements under the Obama rule, are exempted from the standard," reports Jean Chemnick.

Environmentalists and policy experts say reversing these regulatory changes could take years. "The Environmental Defense Fund estimates that [the final] rules will result in an additional 4.5 million metric tons of methane annually compared with the Obama regime they replace," writes Chemnick.

Friday, August 14, 2020 in Scientific American / E&E News

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