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Reducing Volatile Organic Compounds and Methane in Pennsylvania

What's New

Emergency Final-Omitted Rulemaking: Control of VOC Emissions from Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources (25 Pa. Code Chapter 129)

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