Updated: Sep 12
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday officially proposed new rules intended to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other harmful air pollutants from numerous oil and natural gas industry sources.
In an earlier announcement addressing the proposal, the EPA stated the changes “would expand and strengthen emissions reduction requirements that are currently on the books for new, modified and reconstructed oil and natural gas sources, and would require states to reduce methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of existing sources nationwide for the first time.”
This is great news. This is a great start. BUT TAKE NOTE: there are also great opportunities coming up VERY SOON for you to tell the EPA what you think about the new rules.
On Nov. 16 – 18, the EPA will hold afternoon, half-day training sessions online to provide background information, an overview of the proposal, and other information on how to effectively engage in the regulatory process. The trainings are free and open to the public.
Specifically, the audiences EPA hopes to engage in these training sessions are communities with environmental justice concerns, Tribes, and small-business stakeholders. You can read the original notice here. Sign up here.
Once you’ve crossed that off your list – or even if you can’t make the trainings – consider speaking at public hearings scheduled to take place virtually Nov. 30, and Dec. 1.
BUT AGAIN, time is limited: The last day to pre-register to speak at the hearings will be Nov. 24. It is possible there will be time to hear unregistered speakers in attendance but there is no guarantee.
If you’re worried about what to say, the announcement webpage we mentioned above has a lot of great resources, among them is this advice: comments may address any aspect of the proposal, including:
impacts you are experiencing related to pollution from the oil and gas industry;
how you would like EPA to address your concerns;
how EPA is addressing those concerns in the proposed rulemaking;
and technical aspects of the proposal.
If you can’t participate in any of the activities described above there is no need to worry: The EPA will consider written comments received on or before Jan. 14. More information on that process is available in the EPA’s Federal Register notice of the proposed rulemaking.