New Source Performance Standards

By Robert Wyman, Claudia O’Brien, Michael Carroll, Alicia Handy, Andrew Westgate and Samantha Seikkula

On May 12, 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, in support of the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. EPA introduced a suite of rules including New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that will curb emissions of methane, smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants such as benzene from new oil and gas sources. The final NSPS will achieve greater methane reductions than estimated at proposal due to changes made in response to public comments. EPA also finalized the Source Determination Rule, which clarifies how EPA intends to aggregate onshore oil and natural gas emission sources for purposes of its Title V, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), and New Source Review (NSR) permitting programs.

We previously discussed discussed EPA’s draft proposal. This post summarizes the final NSPS and describes key revisions from the proposal, as well as the Source Determination Rule and information requests that were released.

Summary of NSPS

The final NSPS builds on EPA’s 2012 rules to curb emissions from new, reconstructed and modified processes and equipment, along with reducing VOC emissions from sources not originally covered