• EPA Expands GHG Inventory Rule to Target Petroleum & Natural Gas Systems
  • April 20, 2010 | Author: Sandra Y. Snyder
  • Law Firm: Bracewell & Giuliani LLP - Washington Office
  • On April 12, 2010, EPA published in the Federal Register a revised proposal for requiring petroleum and natural gas systems to report greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions starting January 2011.  The proposed rule would apply to the calculation, measurement, and reporting of vented, fugitive, and flare combustion emissions from facilities that emit equal to or greater than 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.  Covered sources include:

    1. offshore petroleum and natural gas production facilities
    2. onshore petroleum and natural gas production facilities (including enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”))
    3. onshore natural gas processing facilities
    4. onshore natural gas transmission compression facilities
    5. onshore natural gas storage facilities
    6. LNG storage facilities
    7. LNG import and export facilities
    8. natural gas distribution facilities owned or operated by local distribution companies (“LDCs”).

    EPA will accept comments on the “Subpart W” rule until June 11, 2010, and it will hold a public hearing on the proposal on April 19 in the Washington, D.C. area.

    EPA’s proposed Subpart W rule is even broader than the one it originally proposed -- but did not finalize -- last year.  For example, the proposal now also covers gathering and boosting stations, facilities located on or under the Outer Continental Shelf, as well as emissions from distribution facilities and onshore production (using a basin level approach).  The expanded scope more than triples the estimated emissions captured by Subpart W.

    Surveys would be required once a year beginning in 2011, with initial reporting due by March 31, 2012.  While the new proposal reduces the direct measurement requirements of the original proposal and allows more use of modeling and engineering calculations, the Subpart W regulations remain aggressive and expansive.