EPA Issues New Ozone Guidelines

oil rig in the middle of a farm fieldThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new guidelines, known as Control Technique Guidelines, to reduce smog-forming emissions for oil and gas drilling sites.

While this may seem like a small step, the Guidelines will bring urgently needed health protections to citizens living adjacent to or downwind of oil and gas operations, especially since in late September, the Clean Air Task Force released a report detailing that the amount of smog forming emissions from the oil and gas sector could lead to as many as 750,000 asthma attacks.

The oil and gas industry is the largest industrial source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which mix with NOX and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, also known as smog. The EPA plans to reduce VOC emissions by about 80,000 tons per year, methane emissions by about 200,000 tons per year, and other hazardous air pollutants by about 3,000 tons per year.

These Guidelines, which apply to areas with moderate and severe smog pollution, will especially benefit communities in Pennsylvania and Texas, where ozone pollution is endangering communities and state regulations haven’t kept pace with the rapid growth in oil and gas development.

American Petroleum Institute Senior Director Howard Feldman said if the EPA fails to follow the science, they will call on Congress to avoid potential barriers to American economic and environmental progress.

“Moving forward with these guidelines without robust data could impose unachievable emission reduction requirements on the industry, while adding potentially significant costs to the American economy, jobs, consumers and the environment,” said Feldman.

Read more… New EPA Guidelines… EPA Releases Ozone Guidelines

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