Reducing Volatile Organic Compounds and Methane in Pennsylvania
Emergency Final-Omitted Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources (25 Pa. Code Chapter 129)
Press Release: DEP Announces Effective Date of Volatile Organic Compound Regulations for Conventional Oil and Gas Industry
EQB Adopts Emergency Air Quality Regulation for Existing Conventional Oil and Gas Sources
EQB to Consider Emergency Air Quality Regulation for Existing Conventional Oil and Gas Sources
DEP Accepting Feedback on Regulations to Reduce Air Pollution from Natural Gas Development
Pennsylvania Moves Forward with Governor Wolf’s Plan to Control Methane and Other Air Pollution
Governor Tom Wolf has launched a groundbreaking strategy to reduce emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, and has been implicated in health risks. The plan is designed to reduce emissions from natural gas well sites, compressor stations and along pipelines, and will protect the environment, reduce climate change, and help businesses reduce the waste of a valuable product.
Methane, the primary component of natural gas, has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities.
With federal estimates that the natural gas and oil industries account for a quarter of U.S. methane emissions, reducing
methane leaks from the oil and gas sector is one of the essential steps needed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has undertaken several steps to reduce methane leakage from oil and gas wells and transmission infrastructure. This includes updated permits for new oil and gas well sites that establish a threshold for methane emissions for the first time.
DEP has also pursued regulations for existing oil and gas wells and infrastructure. These regulations require operators to identify and stop leaks in their equipment that can allow methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to escape into the atmosphere. While the regulations specifically target VOCs, reducing leaks of any gas from wells and pipelines will reduce methane emissions as well.
November 30, 2022: Environmental Quality Board Meeting
Final-Omitted Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources (25 Pa. Code Chapter 129)
October 12, 2022: Environmental Quality Board Meeting
Final Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources (25 Pa. Code Chapter 129)
June 14, 2022: Environmental Quality Board Meeting
Final Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources (25 Pa. Code Chapters 121 and 129)
December 17, 2019: Environmental Quality Board Meeting
Proposed Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Sources (25 Pa. Code Chapters 121 and 129)
Final Permits and Supporting Documents
New GP-5A, Revision to GP-5 and Revision to Air Quality Permit Exemptions Document
On June 9, 2018, issued:
- A new General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit for Unconventional Natural Gas Well Site Operations and Remote Pigging Stations (BAQ-GPA/GP-5A or GP-5A)
- Revisions to the existing General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit for Natural Gas Compressor Stations, Processing Plants and Transmission Stations (BAQ-GPA/GP-5 or GP-5) originally issued in Feb. 2013, and modified in Jan. 2015
- Revisions to the Air Quality Permit Exemptions document (275-2101-003), previously amended on August 10, 2013
The General Permits establish Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements and other applicable Federal and State requirements including air emission limits, source testing, leak detection and repair, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for the applicable air contamination sources.
The GP-5A was developed under the authority of section 6.1(f) of the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P.S. § 4006.1(f)) and 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapter H (relating to general plan approvals and operating permits), and is applicable to unconventional natural gas well site operations and remote pigging stations.
The revised GP-5 was developed under the authority of section 6.1(f) of the Air Pollution Control Act and 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapter H, and is applicable to natural gas compressor stations and processing plants and transmission stations.