Pennsylvania rule targets VOC emissions to curb oil and gas methane problem. - MIRATECH

Pennsylvania rule targets VOC emissions to curb oil and gas methane problem.

January 27, 2020

Nearly 80,000 wells, and over 400 compressor stations affected.

A proposed rule from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Quality to cut down on air pollution fugitive emissions released by Pennsylvania’s thousands of existing oil and gas wells is expected to eliminate tens of thousands of tons of methane emissions each year according to a December 17th Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.

The long-anticipated rule was promised by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2016 as part of a broader strategy to shrink the amount of climate-warming gases wafting out of both new and existing equipment used for producing Pennsylvania’s oil and gas. Instead of directly curbing methane, the regulation builds on a federal rule that targets smog-forming gases called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from tanks, pumps, compressors and leaky parts.

In its Proposed Rulemaking Presentation Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Quality says:

  • Its purpose is to establish reasonably available control technology (RACT) requirements for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from existing oil and natural gas sources.
  • Its proposed rulemaking establishes the VOC emission limitations and other requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommendations in the Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry issued on October 27, 2016. DEP believes Reasonably Available Control Technologies (RACT) for oil and gas sources are required statewide because Pennsylvania is included in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR).
  • That elements of the proposed rulemaking cover the following sources: storage vessels, natural gas driven pneumatic controllers, natural gas-driven diaphragm pumps, reciprocating and centrifugal compressors, and fugitive emissions components. The rulemaking also establishes the compliance date and compliance demonstration requirements for the above sources.
  • DEP affected parties include 5,039 operators with estimates that 3,929 of these facility operators may meet the definition of small business. DEP estimates that approximately 71,229 conventional wells, 8,403 unconventional wells, 435 midstream compressor stations, 120 transmission stations, and 10 natural gas processing plants may have sources that will be affected. DEP also estimates approximately 21 storage vessels, 28,348 pneumatic controllers, and 1,164 diaphragm pumps will have requirements under this proposed rulemaking.
  • DEP plans on a 60-day comment period beginning early in 2020.

What this means to you
PA DEP estimates its proposed rule targeting VOC emissions may affect nearly 80,000 wells, 435 compressor stations, 120 transmission stations, 10 gas processing plants, 21 storage vessels, 28,348 pneumatic controllers and 1,164 diaphragm pumps in Pennsylvania.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine VOC emission control in Pennsylvania