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EPA to Delay and Reconsider Methane Rule

On April 18, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a delay and reconsideration of “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed and Modified Sources” a final rule published by the Obama Administration that finalized new emissions regulations applicable to new, reconstructed, or modified sources in the oil and natural gas sector. Even though the new source emissions requirements were finalized by the previous administration, Clean Air Act Section 307(d)(7)(B) allows the agency to convene a proceeding for reconsideration of a final rule issued under the CAA if a party raises an objection to the final rulemaking and if it was impractical to raise the objection within the public comment period. EPA states that as a result of the reconsideration, the agency will issue a 90-day stay of the compliance date for the fugitive emissions monitoring requirements and that sources need not comply with the requirements while the stay is in effect.