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  • On November 1, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed two Notices of Data Availability, commonly called “NODAs,” related to the agency’s proposed stays of certain requirements in the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry. Federal agencies routinely use NODAs to provide the public an opportunity to consider and comment on emerging issues related to an ongoing rulemaking or other important environmental protection program.

 

  • On June 16, 2017, EPA proposed a two-year stay of the rule’s fugitive emissions requirements, well site pneumatic pump standards, and requirements that closed vent systems be certified by a professional engineer while the agency reconsiders issues associated with these requirements. EPA also proposed a three-month stay of the requirements.

 

  • Since proposing the stays, the agency has heard a wide range of questions, concerns and suggestions from stakeholders both about the 2016 rule and the proposed stays. The NODAs provide information on some of those issues and suggestions, and seek comments from the public to assist in developing a final rule

 

  • The information provided in the NODAs falls into two categories: challenges to implementing the requirements in the 2016 rule that would be covered by proposed stays; and the agency’s legal authority to issue a stay. EPA also is providing an updated analysis of cost savings, forgone benefits and net benefits of the proposed two-year stay.

 

  • EPA will take public comment on the NODAs for 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The agency will consider comments on the NODAs along with comments on the proposed stays before taking final action. While the comment period for the proposed stays closed Aug. 9, 2017, comments on the NODAs may include further comments on information provided in the proposed stays. See the next page of this fact sheet for instructions on submitting comments on the NODAs.

 

  • The NODAs do not affect the agency’s plans to reconsider certain aspects of the rule in response to administrative petitions. EPA will issue a separate proposal addressing the reconsideration of the rule for public review and comment at a later date. 2 Information on Implementation Challenges

 

  • Since issuing the proposed stays in June, EPA has heard comments from stakeholders on challenges in implementing the requirements that the proposed stays would cover. Those are: fugitive emissions requirements at well sites and compressor stations; well site pneumatic pump requirements; and requirements that closed vent systems be certified by a professional engineer.

 

  • The comments included suggestions that EPA amend the 2016 rule to extend or establish phase-in periods in lieu of a stay to ensure the availability of equipment, trained personnel and other infrastructure needed to meet the requirements. Stakeholders also indicated that phase-in periods would provide more regulatory certainty than a stay.

 

  • EPA is seeking public comment on whether to extend existing phase-in periods in the rule instead of staying the requirements for fugitive emissions requirements and well site pneumatic pump requirements, and on the appropriate length of the phase-in periods.

 

  • The agency also is seeking comment on amending the rule to establish a phase-in period for a requirement that closed vent systems be certified by a professional engineer. EPA is seeking comment on the appropriate length of the phase-in periods.

 

  • EPA also is seeking additional information and comment on challenges to implementing the 2016 rule.

https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/epa-issues-notices-data-availability-proposed