The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations.
The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators – including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information – are no longer required to respond.
At this time, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt would like to assess the need for the information that the agency was collecting through these requests. This action also comes after the agency received a letter on 1 March 2017, from nine state attorney generals and the governors of Mississippi and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending information collection request for oil and gas facilities.
“By taking this step, EPA is signalling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” said Pruitt. “Today’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”
Under the previous administration, EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information. The information request comprised of two parts: an ‘operator survey’ that asked for basic information on the numbers and types of equipment at all onshore oil and gas production facilities in the US, and a ‘facility survey’ asking for more detailed information on sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices in use by a representative sampling of facilities in several segments of the oil and gas industry. EPA is withdrawing both parts of the information request.