EPA New Rules Governing Air Pollution Standards for Hydraulic Fracturing


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New rules (40 CFR Part 63) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, April 18 that will govern air pollution standards at oil and gas drilling operations, in particular at well sites using hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The EPA claims that the new standards will mean drillers will capture more gas that currently "leaks" into the atmosphere during drilling completions, and that the extra gas can be sold to offset the cost of new equipment and procedures required under the regulations.

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
  • Can someone please explain what is meant by '500 ppm by volume' as a leak rate. I assume this means the max permitted leak rate quantity is 500 ppm = 0.5% of the volume of the leaking vessel. But what is the time period ? Is the max permitted leak rate 0.05% per second / minute/ hour/ day/ month/ year??
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  • I have found an article online that summarizes some of this presentation regarding the EPA issues with air pollution. If you are interested in reading it here is the article I have found an online article that summarizes some of the things that the EPA is doing to prevent some of the air pollution created by shale drilling. If you would like to read it, I will provide the link. I have come across an article online that gives a little bit of insight into the EPA response to the air-pollution issue. If you are interested in reading it here is the link http://shalestuff.com/controversy-2/standards-control-air-pollution/
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EPA New Rules Governing Air Pollution Standards for Hydraulic Fracturing

  1. 1.  The EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, signed the following notice on 4/17/2012, and EPA is submitting it for publication in the Federal Register (FR).  While we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this Internet version of the rule, it is not the official version of the rule for purposes of compliance.  Please refer to the official version in a forthcoming FR publication, which will appear on the Government Printing Offices FDSys website (http://fdsys.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action) and on Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov) in Docket No. EPA‐HQ‐OAR‐2010‐0505.  Once the official version of this document is published in the FR, this version will be removed from the Internet and replaced with a link to the official version.  6560-50-P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505; FRL- ] RIN 2060-AP76 Oil and Natural Gas Sector: New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants ReviewsAGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).ACTION: Final rule.SUMMARY: This action finalizes the review of new sourceperformance standards for the listed oil and natural gas sourcecategory. In this action the EPA revised the new sourceperformance standards for volatile organic compounds fromleaking components at onshore natural gas processing plants andnew source performance standards for sulfur dioxide emissionsfrom natural gas processing plants. The EPA also establishedstandards for certain oil and gas operations not covered by theexisting standards. In addition to the operations covered by theexisting standards, the newly established standards will  
  2. 2. Page 2 of 588 regulate volatile organic compound emissions from gas wells,centrifugal compressors, reciprocating compressors, pneumaticcontrollers and storage vessels. This action also finalizes theresidual risk and technology review for the Oil and Natural GasProduction source category and the Natural Gas Transmission andStorage source category. This action includes revisions to theexisting leak detection and repair requirements. In addition,the EPA has established in this action emission limitsreflecting maximum achievable control technology for certaincurrently uncontrolled emission sources in these sourcecategories. This action also includes modification and additionof testing and monitoring and related notification,recordkeeping and reporting requirements, as well as other minortechnical revisions to the national emission standards forhazardous air pollutants. This action finalizes revisions to theregulatory provisions related to emissions during periods ofstartup, shutdown and malfunction.DATES: This final rule is effective on [INSERT DATE 60 DAYSAFTER THE DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. Theincorporation by reference of certain publications listed inthis rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register asof [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THEFEDERAL REGISTER]. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  3. 3. Page 3 of 588 ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this actionunder Docket ID. No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505. All documents in thedocket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov web site.Although listed in the index, some information is not publiclyavailable, e.g., confidential business information or otherinformation whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certainother material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed onthe Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copyform. Publicly available docket materials are available eitherelectronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hardcopy at the EPA’s Docket Center, Public Reading Room, EPA WestBuilding, Room Number 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW,Washington, D.C. 20004. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday,excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the PublicReading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for theAir Docket is (202) 566-1742.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information aboutthis final action, contact Mr. Bruce Moore, Sector Policies andPrograms Division (E143-05), Office of Air Quality andStandards, Environmental Protection Agency, Research TrianglePark, North Carolina 27711, telephone number: (919) 541-5460;facsimile number: (919) 685-3200; email address: This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  4. 4. Page 4 of 588 moore.bruce@epa.gov. For additional contact information, see thefollowing SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For specific information regardingrisk assessment and exposure modeling methodology, contact Mr.Mark Morris, Health and Environmental Impacts Division (C504­06), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC27711; telephone number (919) 541-5416; fax number: (919) 541­0840; and email address: morris.mark@epa.gov. Organization of This Document. The information presented inthis preamble is organized as follows:I. Preamble Acronyms and AbbreviationsII. General InformationA. Executive SummaryB. Does this action apply to me?C. What are the emission sources affected by this action?D. Where can I get a copy of this document?E. Judicial ReviewIII. Background Information on the NSPS and NESHAPA. What are the statutory authorities for the NSPS and NESHAP?B. What is the litigation history?C. What is the sector-based approach? This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  5. 5. Page 5 of 588 D. What are the health effects of pollutants emitted from theoil and natural gas sector?IV. Summary of the Final NSPS RuleA. What are the final actions relative to the NSPS for the CrudeOil and Natural Gas Production source category?B. What are the effective and compliance dates for the finalNSPS?V. Summary of the Significant Changes to the NSPS Since ProposalA. Gas Well Affected FacilitiesB. Centrifugal and Reciprocating Compressor Affected FacilitiesC. Pneumatic Controller Affected FacilitiesD. Storage Vessel Affected FacilitiesE. Equipment Leaks Affected Facilities and Sweetening UnitAffected Facilities at Onshore Natural Gas Processing PlantsF. Changes to Notification, Recordkeeping and ReportingRequirementsVI. Summary of the Final NESHAP RulesA. What are the final rule actions relative to the Oil andNatural Gas Production (subpart HH) source category? This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  6. 6. Page 6 of 588 B. What are the final rule amendments for the Natural Gas Transmission and Storage (subpart HHH) source category?C. What is the effective date of this final rule and compliancedates for the standards?VII. Summary of the Significant Changes to the NESHAP SinceProposalA. What are the significant changes since proposal for the Oiland Natural Gas Production (subpart HH) source category?B. What are the significant changes since proposal for theNatural Gas Transmission and Storage (subpart HHH) source category?VIII. Compliance Related Issues Common to the NSPS and NESHAPA. How do the rules address startup, shutdown and malfunction?B. How do the NSPS and NESHAP provide for compliance assurance?C. What are the requirements for submission of performance testdata to the EPA?IX. Summary of Significant NSPS Comments and ResponsesA. Major Comments Concerning ApplicabilityB. Major Comments Concerning Well Completions This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  7. 7. Page 7 of 588 C. Major Comments Concerning Pneumatic ControllersD. Major Comments Concerning CompressorsE. Major Comments Concerning Storage VesselsF. Major Comments Concerning Notification, Recordkeeping and Reporting RequirementsX. Summary of Significant NESHAP Comments and ResponsesA. Major Comments Concerning Previously Unregulated SourcesB. Major Comments Concerning the Risk ReviewC. Major Comments Concerning the Technology ReviewD. Major Comments Concerning Notification, Recordkeeping and Reporting RequirementsXI. What are the cost, environmental and economic impacts of the final NESHAP and NSPS amendments?A. What are the air impacts?B. What are the energy impacts?C. What are the cost impacts?D. What are the economic impacts?E. What are the benefits of this final rule?XII. Statutory and Executive Order ReviewsA. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and RegulatoryReviewB. Paperwork Reduction Act This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  8. 8. Page 8 of 588 C. Regulatory Flexibility ActD. Unfunded Mandates Reform ActE. Executive Order 13132: FederalismF. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination withIndian Tribal GovernmentsG. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children fromEnvironmental Health Risks and Safety RisksH. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or UseI. National Technology Transfer and Advancement ActJ. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to AddressEnvironmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income PopulationsK. Congressional Review ActI. Preamble Acronyms and Abbreviations Several acronyms and terms used to describe industrialprocesses, data inventories and risk modeling are included inthis preamble. While this may not be an exhaustive list, to easethe reading of this preamble and for reference purposes, thefollowing terms and acronyms are defined here:API American Petroleum Institute This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  9. 9. Page 9 of 588 BACT Best Available Control TechnologyBDT Best Demonstrated Technologybpd Barrels Per DayBMP Best Management PracticeBSER Best System of Emission ReductionBTEX Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene and XyleneCAA Clean Air ActCBM Coal Bed MethaneCDX Central Data ExchangeCEDRI Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting InterfaceCFR Code of Federal RegulationsCO Carbon MonoxideCO2 Carbon DioxideCO2e Carbon Dioxide EquivalentDOE United States Department of Energye-GGRT Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting ToolEPA Environmental Protection AgencyERPG Emergency Response Planning GuidelinesERT Electronic Reporting ToolGCG Gas Condensate GlycolGHG Greenhouse GasGOR Gas to Oil RatioGWP Global Warming Potential This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  10. 10. Page 10 of 588 HAP Hazardous Air PollutantsHEM–3 Human Exposure Model, version 3HI Hazard IndexHP HorsepowerHQ Hazard QuotientH2 S Hydrogen SulfideICR Information Collection RequestIPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeIRIS Integrated Risk Information Systemkm KilometerkW KilowattsLAER Lowest Achievable Emission Ratelb PoundsLDAR Leak Detection and RepairMACT Maximum Achievable Control TechnologyMACT Code NEI code used to identify processes included in a source categoryMcf Thousand Cubic FeetMg/yr Megagrams per yearMIR Maximum Individual RiskMIRR Monitoring, Inspection, Recordkeeping and ReportingMMtCO2e Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide EquivalentsNAAQS National Ambient Air Quality Standards This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  11. 11. Page 11 of 588 NAC/AEGL National Advisory Committee for Acute ExposureGuideline Levels for Hazardous SubstancesNAICS North American Industry Classification SystemNAS National Academy of SciencesNATA National Air Toxics AssessmentNEI National Emissions InventoryNEMS National Energy Modeling SystemNESHAP National Emissions Standards for Hazardous AirPollutantsNGL Natural Gas LiquidsNIOSH National Institutes for Occupational Safety and HealthNOX Oxides of NitrogenNRC National Research CouncilNSPS New Source Performance StandardsNSR New Source ReviewNTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement ActOAQPS Office of Air Quality Planning and StandardsOMB Office of Management and BudgetPB–HAP Hazardous air pollutants known to be persistent andbio- accumulative in the environmentPFE Potential for Flash Emissions This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  12. 12. Page 12 of 588 PM Particulate MatterPM2.5 Particulate Matter (2.5 microns and less)POM Polycyclic Organic Matterppm Parts per Millionppmv Parts per Million by VolumePSIG Pounds per Square Inch GaugePSIA Pounds per Square Inch AbsolutePTE Potential to EmitQA Quality AssuranceRACT Reasonably Available Control TechnologyRBLC RACT/BACT/LAER ClearinghouseREC Reduced Emissions CompletionsREL California EPA Reference Exposure LevelRFA Regulatory Flexibility ActRfC Reference ConcentrationRfD Reference DoseRIA Regulatory Impact AnalysisRICE Reciprocating Internal Combustion EnginesRTR Residual Risk and Technology ReviewSAB Science Advisory BoardSBREFA Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness ActSCC Source Classification Codesscfh Standard Cubic Feet Per Hour This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  13. 13. Page 13 of 588 scfm Standard Cubic Feet Per Minutescm Standard Cubic Metersscmd Standard Cubic Meters per DaySCOT Shell Claus Offgas TreatmentSIP State Implementation PlanSISNOSE Significant Economic Impact on a Substantial Number of Small EntitiesS/L/T State and Local and Tribal AgenciesSO2 Sulfur DioxideSSM Startup, Shutdown and MalfunctionSTEL Short-term Exposure LimitTLV Threshold Limit ValueTOSHI Target Organ-Specific Hazard Indextpy Tons per YearTRIM Total Risk Integrated Modeling SystemTRIM.FaTE A spatially explicit, compartmental mass balance modelthat describes the movement and transformation ofpollutants over time, through a user-defined, bounded system that includes both biotic and abiotic compartmentsTSD Technical Support DocumentUF Uncertainty Factor This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  14. 14. Page 14 of 588 UMRA Unfunded Mandates Reform ActURE Unit Risk EstimateVCS Voluntary Consensus StandardsVOC Volatile Organic CompoundsVRU Vapor Recovery UnitII. General InformationA. Executive Summary1. Purpose of the Regulatory Action Responding to the requirements of a consent decree, thisaction finalizes several rules that apply to the oil and gasproduction industry and significantly reduce emissions of airpollutants. More particularly, the action finalizes: • New source performance standards (NSPS) for the Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production and onshore natural gas processing plant source category. The EPA reviewed two existing NSPS for onshore natural gas processing plant source category under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). This action improves the existing NSPS and finalizes standards for certain crude oil and natural gas sources that are not covered by existing NSPS for this sector. • National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Oil and Natural Gas Production source This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  15. 15. Page 15 of 588  category and the Natural Gas Transmission and Storage source category. The EPA conducted risk and technology reviews (RTR) for these rules under section 112 of the CAA. In addition, the EPA has established emission limits for certain currently uncontrolled emission sources in these source categories. These limits reflect maximum achievable control technology (MACT).2. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Actions New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). The newlyestablished NSPS for the Crude Oil and Natural Gas Productionsource category regulate volatile organic compound (VOC)emissions from gas wells, centrifugal compressors, reciprocatingcompressors, pneumatic controllers, storage vessels and leakingcomponents at onshore natural gas processing plants, as well assulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from onshore natural gasprocessing plants. This rule sets cost-effective performancestandards for: Gas wells. The rule covers any gas well that is “an onshorewell drilled principally for production of natural gas.” Oilwells (wells drilled principally for the production of crudeoil) are not subject to this rule. For fractured and refracturedgas wells, the rule generally requires owners/operators to usereduced emissions completions, also known as “RECs” or “green This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  16. 16. Page 16 of 588 completions,” to reduce VOC emissions from well completions. Toachieve these VOC reductions, owners and/or operators may useRECs or completion combustion devices, such as flaring, untilJanuary 1, 2015; as of January 1, 2015, owners and/or operatorsmust use RECs and a completion combustion device. The rule doesnot require RECs where their use is not feasible, as specifiedin the rule. See sections IX.A and IX.B of this preamble forfurther discussion. Storage vessels. Individual storage vessels in the oil andnatural gas production segment and the natural gas processing,transmission and storage segments with emissions equal to orgreater than 6 tons per year (tpy) must achieve at least 95.0percent reduction in VOC emissions. See section IX.E of thispreamble for further discussion. Certain controllers. The rule sets a natural gas bleed ratelimit of 6 scfh for individual, continuous bleed, natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers located between the wellhead andthe point at which the gas enters the transmission and storagesegment. For individual, continuous bleed, natural gas-drivenpneumatic controllers located at natural gas processing plants,the rule sets a natural gas bleed limit of zero scfh. Seesection IX.C of this preamble for further discussion. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  17. 17. Page 17 of 588  Certain compressors. The rule requires a 95.0 percentreduction of VOC emissions from wet seal centrifugal compressorslocated between the wellhead and the point at which the gasenters the transmission and storage segment. The rule alsorequires measures intended to reduce VOC emissions fromreciprocating compressors located between the wellhead and thepoint where natural gas enters the natural gas transmission andstorage segment. Owners and/or operators of these compressorsmust replace the rod packing based on specified usage or time.See section IX.D of this preamble for further discussion. For onshore natural gas processing plants, this finalaction revises the existing NSPS requirements for leak detectionand repair (LDAR) to reflect the procedures and leak thresholdsestablished in the NSPS for Equipment Leaks of VOCs in theSynthetic Organic Chemicals Manufacturing Industry. This finalaction also revises the existing NSPS requirements for SO2emission reductions 99.8 percent to 99.9 percent based onreanalysis of the original data. National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants(NESHAP). This action also revises the NESHAP for glycoldehydration unit process vents and leak detection and repair(LDAR) requirements. In the final rule for major sources at oiland natural gas production facilities, we have lowered the leak This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  18. 18. Page 18 of 588 definition for valves at natural gas processing plants to 500parts per million (ppm) and thus require the application of LDARprocedures at this level. In this final rule, we also haveestablished MACT standards for “small” glycol dehydration units,which were unregulated under the initial NESHAP. Covered glycoldehydrators are those with an actual annual average natural gasflow rate less than 85,000 standard cubic meters per day (scmd)or actual average benzene emissions less than 1 ton per year(tpy), and they must meet unit-specific limits for benzene,ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene (BTEX). In the final rule for major sources at natural gastransmission and storage facilities, we have established MACTstandards for “small” glycol dehydrators also not regulatedunder the initial NESHAP. Covered glycol dehydrators are thosewith an actual annual average natural gas flow rate less than283,000 scmd or actual average benzene emissions less than 0.90Mg/yr, and they must meet unit-specific BTEX emission limits. v.See sections VII and X of this preamble for further discussionof both standards.3. Costs and Benefits Table 1 summarizes the costs and benefits of this action.See section XI of this preamble for further discussion. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  19. 19. Page 19 of 588 TABLE 1. SUMMARY OF THE MONETIZED BENEFITS, SOCIAL COSTS AND NETBENEFITS FOR THE FINAL OIL AND NATURAL GAS NSPS AND NESHAPAMENDMENTS IN 2015 (MILLIONS OF 2008$)1 Final NSPS and Final NESHAP NESHAP Final NSPS Amendments Amendments CombinedTotalMonetized N/A N/A N/ABenefits2 -$15 million $3.5 million -$11 millionTotal Costs3Net Benefits N/A N/A N/A 11,000 tons of 12,000 tons of 670 tons of HAP HAP HAP 190,000 tons of 1,200 tons of 190,000 tons of VOC VOC VOCNon- 1.0 million tons 420 tons of 1.0 million tonsmonetized of methane methane of methaneBenefits4 Health effects of HAP exposure Health effects of PM2.5 and ozone exposure Visibility impairment Vegetation effects Climate effects1 All estimates are for the implementation year (2015).2 While we expect that these avoided emissions will result in improvements inair quality and reductions in health effects associated with HAP, ozone andparticulate matter (PM), as well as climate effects associated with methane,we have determined that quantification of those benefits and co-benefitscannot be accomplished for this rule in a defensible way. This is not toimply that there are no benefits or co-benefits of the rules; rather, it is areflection of the difficulties in modeling the direct and indirect impacts ofthe reductions in emissions for this industrial sector with the datacurrently available.3 The engineering compliance costs are annualized using a 7-percent discountrate. The negative cost for the final NSPS reflects the inclusion of revenuesfrom additional natural gas and hydrocarbon condensate recovery that areestimated as a result of the NSPS. Possible explanations for why there appearto be negative cost control technologies are discussed in the engineeringcosts analysis section in the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA).4 For the NSPS, reduced exposure to HAP and climate effects are co-benefits.For the NESHAP, reduced VOC emissions, PM2.5 and ozone exposure, visibility andvegetation effects and climate effects are co-benefits. The specific controltechnologies for the final NSPS are anticipated to have minor secondarydisbenefits, including an increase of 1.1 million tons of carbon dioxide(CO2), 550 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 19 tons of PM, 3,000 tons of carbonmonoxide (CO) and 1,100 tons of total hydrocarbons (THC), as well as emissionreductions associated with the energy system impacts. The specific control This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  20. 20. Page 20 of 588 technologies for the NESHAP are anticipated to have minor secondarydisbenefits, but the EPA was unable to estimate the secondary disbenefits.The net CO2-equivalent emission reductions are 18 million metric tons.B. Does this action apply to me? The regulated categories and entities potentially affectedby the final standards are shown in Table 2 of this preamble.TABLE 2. INDUSTRIAL SOURCE CATEGORIES AFFECTED BY THIS ACTION Category NAICS code1 Examples of regulated entitiesIndustry . . . . Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas 211111 Extraction 211112 Natural Gas Liquid Extraction 221210 Natural Gas Distribution 486110 Pipeline Distribution of Crude Oil 486210 Pipeline Transportation of Natural GasFederal government . . . . Not affected. State/local/tribal . . . . Not affected. government1 North American Industry Classification System. This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather ismeant to provide a guide for readers regarding entities likelyto be affected by this action. If you have any questionsregarding the applicability of this action to a particularentity, consult either the air permitting authority for theentity or your EPA regional representative as listed in 40 CFR60.4 or 40 CFR 63.13 (General Provisions).C. What are the emission sources affected by this action? This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  21. 21. Page 21 of 588 1. What are the emission sources affected by the NSPS? The emission sources affected by the NSPS include wellcompletions, pneumatic controllers, equipment leaks from naturalgas processing plants, sweetening units at natural gasprocessing plants, reciprocating compressors, centrifugalcompressors and storage vessels which are constructed, modifiedor reconstructed after August 23, 2011. Well completions subjectto the NSPS are limited to the flowback period followinghydraulic fracturing operations at a gas well affected facility.These completions include those conducted at newly drilled andfractured wells, as well as completions conducted followingrefracturing operations that may occur at various times over thelife of the well. Pneumatic controllers affected by the NSPSinclude continuous bleed, natural gas-driven pneumaticcontrollers with a natural gas bleed rate greater than 6 scfhand which commenced construction after August 23, 2011, in theoil and natural gas production segment (except for gasprocessing plants) and continuous bleed natural gas-drivenpneumatic controllers which commenced construction after August23, 2011, at natural gas processing plants. The NSPS applies tocentrifugal compressors with wet seals and reciprocatingcompressors located in the natural gas production and processingsegments. The NSPS also applies to equipment leaks from onshore This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  22. 22. Page 22 of 588 natural gas processing plants and to storage vessels located inthe oil and natural gas production segment, the natural gasprocessing segment and the natural gas transmission and storagesegment. The NSPS also affects sweetening units located onshorethat process natural gas from onshore or offshore wells.2. What are the emission sources affected by the NESHAP? The emission sources that are affected by the Oil andNatural Gas Production NESHAP (40 CFR part 63, subpart HH) orthe Natural Gas Transmission and Storage NESHAP (40 CFR part 63,subpart HHH) include glycol dehydrators and equipment leaks.D. Where can I get a copy of this document? In addition to being available in the docket, an electroniccopy of this action will also be available on the World Wide Web(WWW). Following signature by the Administrator, a copy of theaction will be posted on the EPA’s website at the followingaddress: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas. Additional information is available on the EPA’s RTR website at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/rrisk/oarpg.html. Thisinformation includes the most recent version of the rule, sourcecategory descriptions, detailed emissions and other data wereused as inputs to the risk assessments.E. Judicial Review This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  23. 23. Page 23 of 588  Under CAA section 307(b)(1), judicial review of this finalrule is available only by filing a petition for review in theUnited States Court of Appeals for the District of ColumbiaCircuit by [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERALREGISTER]. Under CAA section 307(d)(7)(B), only an objection tothis final rule that was raised with reasonable specificityduring the period for public comment (including any publichearing) can be raised during judicial review. This section alsoprovides a mechanism for the EPA to convene a proceeding forreconsideration “[i]f the person raising an objection candemonstrate to the Administrator that it was impracticable toraise such objection within [the period for public comment] orif the grounds for such objection arose after the period forpublic comment (but within the time specified for judicialreview) and if such objection is of central relevance to theoutcome of the rule[.]” Any person seeking to make such ademonstration to us should submit a Petition for Reconsiderationto the Office of the Administrator, Environmental ProtectionAgency, Room 3000, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave.,NW, Washington, D.C. 20004, with a copy to the person listed inthe preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, and theAssociate General Counsel for the Air and Radiation Law Office,Office of General Counsel (Mail Code 2344A), Environmental This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  24. 24. Page 24 of 588 Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.20004. Note, under CAA section 307(b)(2), the requirementsestablished by this final rule may not be challenged separatelyin any civil or criminal proceedings brought by the EPA toenforce these requirements.III. Background Information on the NSPS and NESHAPA. What are the statutory authorities for the NSPS and NESHAP?1. What is the statutory authority for the NSPS? Section 111 of the CAA requires the EPA Administrator tolist categories of stationary sources, if such sources cause orcontribute significantly to air pollution, which may reasonablybe anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. The EPAmust then issue performance standards for such sourcecategories. Whereas CAA section 112 standards are issued for newand existing stationary sources, standards of performance areissued for new and modified stationary sources. These standardsare referred to as NSPS. The EPA has the authority to define thesource categories, determine the pollutants for which standardsshould be developed, identify the facilities within each sourcecategory to be covered and set the emission level of thestandards. CAA section 111(b)(1)(B) requires the EPA to “at leastevery 8 years review and, if appropriate, revise” performance This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  25. 25. Page 25 of 588 standards. However, the Administrator need not review any suchstandard if the “Administrator determines that such review isnot appropriate in light of readily available information on theefficacy” of the standard. When conducting a review of anexisting performance standard, the EPA has authority to revisethat standard to add emission limits for pollutants or emissionsources not currently regulated for that source category. In setting or revising a performance standard, CAA section111(a)(1) provides that performance standards are to “reflectthe degree of emission limitation achievable through theapplication of the BSER which (taking into account the cost ofachieving such reduction and any nonair quality health andenvironmental impact and energy requirements) the Administratordetermines has been adequately demonstrated.” In this notice, werefer to this level of control as the BSER. In determining BSER,we typically conduct a technology review that identifies whatemission reduction systems exist and how much they reduce airpollution, in practice. Next, for each control systemidentified, we evaluate its costs, secondary air benefits (ordisbenefits) resulting from energy requirements and nonairquality impacts such as solid waste generation. Based on ourevaluation, we would determine BSER. The resultant standard isusually a numerical emissions limit, expressed as a performance This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  26. 26. Page 26 of 588 level (i.e., a rate-based standard or percent control), thatreflects the BSER. Although such standards are based on theBSER, the EPA may not prescribe a particular technology thatmust be used to comply with a performance standard, except ininstances where the Administrator determines it is not feasibleto prescribe or enforce a standard of performance. Typically,sources remain free to select any control measures that willmeet the emission limits. Upon promulgation, an NSPS becomes anational standard to which all new sources must comply.2. What is the statutory authority for the NESHAP? Section 112 of the CAA establishes a two-stage regulatoryprocess to address emissions of HAP from stationary sources. Inthe first stage, after the EPA has identified categories ofsources emitting one or more of the HAP listed in section 112(b)of the CAA, section 112(d) of the CAA calls for us to promulgateNESHAP for those sources. “Major sources” are those that emit orhave the potential to emit (PTE) 10 tpy or more of a single HAPor 25 tpy or more of any combination of HAP. For major sources,the technology-based emission standards must reflect the maximumdegree of emission reductions of HAP achievable (afterconsidering cost, energy requirements and nonair quality healthand environmental impacts) and are commonly referred to as MACTstandards. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  27. 27. Page 27 of 588  MACT standards are set to reflect application of measures,processes, methods, systems or techniques, including, but notlimited to, measures which, (1) reduce the volume of oreliminate pollutants through process changes, substitution ofmaterials or other modifications, (2) enclose systems orprocesses to eliminate emissions, (3) capture or treatpollutants when released from a process, stack, storage orfugitive emissions point, (4) are design, equipment, workpractice or operational standards (including requirements foroperator training or certification) or (5) are a combination ofthe above. CAA sections 112(d)(2)(A)–(E). A MACT standard maytake the form of a design, equipment, work practice oroperational standard where the EPA first determines either that,(1) a pollutant cannot be emitted through a conveyance designedand constructed to emit or capture the pollutant or that anyrequirement for or use of such a conveyance would beinconsistent with law or (2) the application of measurementmethodology to a particular class of sources is not practicabledue to technological and economic limitations. CAA sections112(h)(1),(2). The MACT “floor” is the minimum control level allowed forMACT standards promulgated under CAA section 112(d)(3) and maynot be based on cost considerations. For new sources, the MACT This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  28. 28. Page 28 of 588 floor cannot be less stringent than the emission control that isachieved in practice by the best-controlled similar source. TheMACT floors for existing sources can be less stringent thanfloors for new sources, but cannot be less stringent than theaverage emission limitation achieved by the best-performing 12percent of existing sources in the category or subcategory (orthe best-performing five sources for categories or subcategorieswith fewer than 30 sources). In developing MACT standards, wemust also consider control options that are more stringent thanthe floor. We may establish standards more stringent than thefloor based on the consideration of the cost of achieving theemissions reductions, any nonair quality health andenvironmental impacts and energy requirements. The EPA is then required to review these technology-basedstandards and to revise them “as necessary (taking into accountdevelopments in practices, processes, and control technologies)”no less frequently than every 8 years, under CAA section112(d)(6). In conducting this review, the EPA is not obliged tocompletely recalculate the prior MACT determination. NRDC v.EPA, 529 F.3d 1077, 1084 (D.C. Cir. 2008). The second stage in standard-setting focuses on reducingany remaining “residual” risk according to CAA section 112(f).This provision requires, first, that the EPA prepare a Report to This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  29. 29. Page 29 of 588 Congress discussing (among other things) methods of calculatingrisk posed (or potentially posed) by sources afterimplementation of the MACT standards, the public healthsignificance of those risks and the EPA’s recommendations as tolegislation regarding such remaining risk. The EPA prepared andsubmitted this report (Residual Risk Report to Congress, EPA–453/R–99–001) in March 1999. Congress did not act in response tothe report, thereby triggering the EPA’s obligation under CAAsection 112(f)(2) to analyze and address residual risk. CAA section 112(f)(2) requires us to determine for sourcecategories subject to MACT standards, whether the emissionsstandards provide an ample margin of safety to protect publichealth. CAA section 112(f)(2) expressly preserves our use of atwo-step process for developing standards to address anyresidual risk and our interpretation of “ample margin of safety”developed in the National Emission Standards for Hazardous AirPollutants: Benzene Emissions from Maleic Anhydride Plants,Ethylbenzene/Styrene Plants, Benzene Storage Vessels, BenzeneEquipment Leaks, and Coke By-Product Recovery Plants (BenzeneNESHAP) (54 FR 38044, September 14, 1989). The first step inthis process is the determination of acceptable risk. The secondstep provides for an ample margin of safety to protect publichealth, which is the level at which the standards must be set This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  30. 30. Page 30 of 588 (unless a more stringent standard is required to prevent anadverse environmental effect, taking into consideration costs,energy, safety and other relevant factors). If the MACT standards for HAP that are “classified as aknown, probable, or possible human carcinogen do not reducelifetime excess cancer risks to the individual most exposed toemissions from a source in the category or subcategory to lessthan 1-in-1 million,” the EPA must promulgate residual riskstandards for the source category (or subcategory), asnecessary, to provide an ample margin of safety to protectpublic health. In doing so, the EPA may adopt standards equal toexisting MACT standards if the EPA determines that the existingstandards are sufficiently protective. NRDC v. EPA, 529 F.3d1077, 1083 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (“If EPA determines that theexisting technology-based standards provide an ‘ample margin ofsafety,’ then the Agency is free to readopt those standardsduring the residual risk rulemaking.”). As mentioned, the EPAmust also adopt more stringent standards, if necessary, toprevent an adverse environmental effect,1 but must consider cost,energy, safety and other relevant factors in doing so.                                                            1 “Adverse environmental effect” is defined in CAA section 112(a)(7) as anysignificant and widespread adverse effect, which may be reasonablyanticipated to wildlife, aquatic life or natural resources, including adverseimpacts on populations of endangered or threatened species or significantdegradation of environmental qualities over broad areas. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  31. 31. Page 31 of 588  The terms “individual most exposed,” “acceptable level,”and “ample margin of safety” are not specifically defined in theCAA. However, CAA section 112(f)(2)(B) preserves theinterpretation set out in the Benzene NESHAP, and the UnitedStates Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hasconcluded that the EPA’s interpretation of CAA section 112(f)(2)is a reasonable one. See NRDC v. EPA, 529 F.3d at 1083(“[S]ubsection 112(f)(2)(B) expressly incorporates the EPA’sinterpretation of the Clean Air Act from the Benzene standard,complete with a citation to the Federal Register”). See, also, ALegislative History of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,volume 1, p. 877 (Senate debate on Conference Report). Wenotified Congress in the Residual Risk Report to Congress thatweintended to use the Benzene NESHAP approach in making CAAsection112(f) residual risk determinations (EPA–453/R–99–001, p. ES–11). In the Benzene NESHAP, we stated as an overall objective: * * * in protecting public health with an ample margin of safety, we strive to provide maximum feasible protection against risks to health from hazardous air pollutants by, (1) protecting the greatest number of persons possible to This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  32. 32. Page 32 of 588  an individual lifetime risk level no higher than approximately 1-in-1 million; and (2) limiting to no higher than approximately 1-in-10 thousand [i.e., 100-in-1 million] the estimated risk that a person living near a facility would have if he or she were exposed to the maximum pollutant concentrations for 70 years.The agency also stated in the Residual Risk Report to Congressthat “The EPA also considers incidence (the number of personsestimated to suffer cancer or other serious health effects as aresult of exposure to a pollutant) to be an important measure ofthe health risk to the exposed population. Incidence measuresthe extent of health risk to the exposed population as a whole,by providing an estimate of the occurrence of cancer or otherserious health effects in the exposed population.” The agencywent on to conclude that “estimated incidence would be weighedalong with other health risk information in judgingacceptability.” As explained more fully in our Residual RiskReport to Congress, the EPA does not define “rigid line[s] ofacceptability,” but considers rather broad objectives to beweighed with a series of other health measures and factors (EPA–453/R–99–001, p. ES–11). The determination of what represents an“acceptable” risk is based on a judgment of “what risks areacceptable in the world in which we live” (Residual Risk Report This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  33. 33. Page 33 of 588 to Congress, p. 178, quoting the Vinyl Chloride decision at 824F.2d 1165) recognizing that our world is not risk-free. In the Benzene NESHAP, we stated that “EPA will generallypresume that if the risk to [the maximum exposed] individual isno higher than approximately 1-in-10 thousand, that risk levelis considered acceptable.” 54 FR 38045. We discussed the maximumindividual lifetime cancer risk (or maximum individual risk(MIR)) as being “the estimated risk that a person living near aplant would have if he or she were exposed to the maximumpollutant concentrations for 70 years.” Id. We explained thatthis measure of risk “is an estimate of the upper bound of riskbased on conservative assumptions, such as continuous exposurefor 24 hours per day for 70 years.” Id. We acknowledge thatmaximum individual lifetime cancer risk “does not necessarilyreflect the true risk, but displays a conservative risk levelwhich is an upper-bound that is unlikely to be exceeded.” Id.Understanding that there are both benefits and limitations tousing maximum individual lifetime cancer risk as a metric fordetermining acceptability, we acknowledged in the 1989 BenzeneNESHAP that “consideration of maximum individual risk * * * musttake into account the strengths and weaknesses of this measureof risk.” Id. Consequently, the presumptive risk level of 100­in-1 million (1-in-10 thousand) provides a benchmark for judging This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  34. 34. Page 34 of 588 the acceptability of maximum individual lifetime cancer risk,but does not constitute a rigid line for making thatdetermination. The agency also explained in the 1989 Benzene NESHAP thefollowing: “In establishing a presumption for MIR, rather than arigid line for acceptability, the Agency intends to weigh itwith a series of other health measures and factors. Theseinclude the overall incidence of cancer or other serious healtheffects within the exposed population, the numbers of personsexposed within each individual lifetime risk range andassociated incidence within, typically, a 50-kilometer (km)exposure radius around facilities, the science policyassumptions and estimation uncertainties associated with therisk measures, weight of the scientific evidence for humanhealth effects, other quantified or unquantified health effects,effects due to co-location of facilities and co-emission ofpollutants.” Id. In some cases, these health measures and factors takentogether may provide a more realistic description of themagnitude of risk in the exposed population than that providedby maximum individual lifetime cancer risk alone. As explainedin the Benzene NESHAP, “[e]ven though the risks judged‘acceptable’ by the EPA in the first step of the Vinyl Chloride This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  35. 35. Page 35 of 588 inquiry are already low, the second step of the inquiry,determining an ‘ample margin of safety,’ again includesconsideration of all of the health factors, and whether toreduce the risks even further.” In the ample margin of safetydecision process, the agency again considers all of the healthrisks and other health information considered in the first step.Beyond that information, additional factors relating to theappropriate level are considered, including costs and economicimpacts of controls, technological feasibility, uncertaintiesand any other relevant factors. Considering all of thesefactors, the agency will establish the standard at a level thatprovides an ample margin of safety to protect the public health,as required by CAA section 112(f). See 54 FR 38046.B. What is the litigation history? On January 14, 2009, pursuant to section 304(a)(2) of theCAA, WildEarth Guardians and the San Juan Citizens Alliancefiled a complaint in the United States District Court for theDistrict of Columbia and alleged that the EPA failed to meet itsobligations under CAA sections 111(b)(1)(B), 112(d)(6) and112(f)(2) to take actions relative to the review/revision of theNSPS and the NESHAP with respect to the Oil and Natural GasProduction source category. On February 5, 2010, the Courtentered a consent decree that, as successively modified, This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  36. 36. Page 36 of 588 required the EPA to sign by July 28, 2011,2 proposed standardsand/or determinations not to issue standards pursuant to CAAsections 111(b)(1)(B), 112(d)(6) and 112(f)(2) and to take finalaction by April 3, 2012. On April 2, 2012, the consent decreewas modified to change the date for final action to no laterthan April 17, 2012.C. What is the sector-based approach? Sector-based approaches are based on integrated assessmentsof industrial operations that consider multiple pollutants in acomprehensive and coordinated manner to manage emissions and CAArequirements. One of the many ways we can address sector-basedapproaches is by reviewing multiple regulatory programs togetherwhenever possible, for example the NSPS and NESHAP, consistentwith all applicable legal requirements. This approachessentially expands the technical analyses on costs and benefitsof particular technologies, to consider the interactions ofrules that regulate sources. The benefit of multi-pollutant andsector-based analyses and approaches includes the ability toidentify optimum strategies, considering feasibility, costimpacts and benefits across the different pollutant types while                                                            2 On April 27, 2011, pursuant to paragraph 10(a) of the Consent Decree, theparties filed with the Court a written stipulation to extend the proposaldate from January 31, 2011, to July 28, 2011, and the final action date fromNovember 30, 2011, to February 28, 2012. On October 28, 2011, pursuant toparagraph 10(a) of the Consent Decree, the parties filed with the Court awritten stipulation to extend the final action date from February 28, 2012,to April 3, 2012. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  37. 37. Page 37 of 588 streamlining administrative and compliance complexities andreducing conflicting and redundant requirements, resulting inadded certainty and easier implementation of control strategiesfor the sector under consideration. In order to benefit from asector-based approach for the oil and gas industry, the EPAanalyzed how the NSPS and NESHAP under consideration relate toeach other and other regulatory requirements currently underreview for oil and gas facilities. In this analysis, we lookedat how the different control requirements that result from theserequirements interact, including the different regulatorydeadlines and control equipment requirements that result, thedifferent reporting and recordkeeping requirements andopportunities for states to account for reductions resultingfrom this rulemaking in their State Implementation Plans (SIP).The requirements analyzed affect criteria pollutants, HAP andmethane emissions from oil and natural gas processes and coverthe NSPS and NESHAP reviews. As a result of the sector-based approach, this rulemakingwill reduce conflicting and redundant requirements. Also, thesector-based approach streamlines the monitoring, recordkeepingand reporting requirements, thus, reducing administrative andcompliance complexities associated with complying with multipleregulations. In addition, the sector-based approach in this rule This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  38. 38. Page 38 of 588 promotes a comprehensive control strategy that maximizes the co­control of multiple regulated pollutants while obtainingemission reductions as co-benefits.D. What are the health effects of pollutants emitted from theoil and natural gas sector? The final oil and natural gas sector NSPS and NESHAPamendments are expected to result in significant reductions inexisting emissions and prevent new emissions from expansions ofthis industry. These emissions include HAP, VOC (a precursor toboth PM2.5 and ozone formation) and methane (a GHG and aprecursor to global ozone formation). These emissions areassociated with substantial health effects, welfare effects andclimate effects. One HAP of particular concern from the oil andnatural gas sector is benzene, which is a known humancarcinogen. PM2.5 is associated with health effects, includingpremature mortality for adults and infants, cardiovascularmorbidity, such as heart attacks, hospital admissions andrespiratory morbidity such as asthma attacks, acute and chronicbronchitis, hospital and emergency room visits, work loss days,restricted activity days and respiratory symptoms, as well asvisibility impairment. Ozone is associated with health effects,including hospital and emergency department visits, school loss This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  39. 39. Page 39 of 588 days and premature mortality, as well as injury to vegetationand climate effects.IV. Summary of the Final NSPS RuleA. What are the final actions relative to the NSPS for the CrudeOiland Natural Gas Production source category? We are revising the existing NSPS, which regulate VOCemissions from equipment leaks and SO2 emissions from sweeteningunits at onshore gas processing plants. In addition, we arepromulgating standards for several new oil and natural gasaffected facilities. The final standards apply to affectedfacilities that commence construction, reconstruction ormodification after August 23, 2011, the date of the proposedrule. The listed Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production sourcecategory covers, at a minimum, those operations for which we areestablishing standards in this final rule. Table 3 summarizesthe 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOO standards. Further discussionof these changes may be found below in this section and insections V and IX of this preamble.TABLE 3. SUMMARY OF 40 CFR PART 60, SUBPART OOOO EMISSIONSTANDARDS Affected Facility Pollutant Standard Compliance Dates This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  40. 40. Page 40 of 588  Route flowback [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS Hydraulically fractured emissions to AFTER DATE OF wildcat and delineation completion PUBLICATION IN THE wells VOC combustion device FEDERAL REGISTER] Hydraulically fractured Route flowback [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS low pressure wells, non- emissions to AFTER DATE OF wildcat and non- completion PUBLICATION IN THE delineation wells VOC combustion device FEDERAL REGISTER] Route flowback emissions to All other hydraulically completion Prior to January 1, fractured gas wells VOC combustion device 2015 Use REC and route flowback emissions All other hydraulically to completion On or after January 1, fractured gas wells VOC combustion device 2015 [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF Centrifugal compressors Reduce emissions by PUBLICATION IN THE with wet seals VOC 95 percent FEDERAL REGISTER] [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS Change rod packing AFTER DATE OF after 26,000 hours PUBLICATION IN THEReciprocating compressors VOC or after 36 months FEDERAL REGISTER] Continuous bleed natural [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS gas-driven pneumatic AFTER DATE OF controllers at natural Natural gas bleed PUBLICATION IN THE gas processing plants VOC rate of zero FEDERAL REGISTER] Continuous bleed natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers with a bleed rate greater than 6 scfh [INSERT DATE 1 YEAR between wellhead and Natural gas bleed AFTER DATE OF natural gas processing rate less than 6 PUBLICATION IN THE plant VOC scfh FEDERAL REGISTER] [INSERT DATE 1 YEAR Storage vessels with VOC AFTER DATE OF emissions equal to or Reduce emissions by PUBLICATION IN THE greater than 6 tpy VOC 95 percent FEDERAL REGISTER] [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS Equipment leaks at AFTER DATE OF onshore natural gas PUBLICATION IN THE processing plants VOC LDAR program FEDERAL REGISTER] Reduce SO2 emissions based on sulfur [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS Sweetening units at feed rate and AFTER DATE OF onshore natural gas sulfur content of PUBLICATION IN THE processing plants SO2 acid gas FEDERAL REGISTER] This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  41. 41. Page 41 of 588 1. Standards for Gas Well Affected Facilities We are finalizing operational standards for completions ofhydraulically fractured and refractured gas wells. For purposesof this rule, well completion is defined as the flowback periodbeginning after hydraulic fracturing and ending with either wellshut in or when the well continuously flows to the flow line orto a storage vessel for collection, whichever occurs first. Thefinal rule applies to three subcategories of fractured andrefractured gas wells for which well completion operations areconducted: (1) Wildcat (exploratory) and delineation gas wells;(2) non-wildcat and non-delineation gas wells for which thereservoir pressure is insufficient for a REC, commonly referredto as a “green completion,” to be performed, as determined by asimple calculation involving reservoir pressure, well depth andflow line pressure at the sales meter (we refer to these wellsas “low pressure gas wells”) and (3) other fractured andrefractured gas wells. For subcategory (3) wells, each wellcompletion operation begun on or after January 1, 2015, mustemploy REC in combination with use of a completion combustiondevice to control gas not suitable for entering the flow line(we refer to this as REC with combustion). For well completionoperations at subcategory (1) wells (exploratory and delineation This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  42. 42. Page 42 of 588 gas wells), subcategory (2) wells (low pressure gas wells) andfor well completion operations begun prior to January 1, 2015,  at subcategory (3) gas wells, the final rule requires thecontrol of emissions using either REC with combustion or just acompletion combustion device. Owners and operators areencouraged to use REC with combustion during this period. Well completions subject to the standards are gas wellcompletions following hydraulic fracturing and refracturingoperations. These completions include those conducted at newlydrilled and fractured wells, as well as completions conductedfollowing refracturing operations at various times over the lifeof the well. As we explained in the proposal preamble, acompletion operation associated with refracturing performed at awell is considered a modification under CAA section 111(a),because physical change occurs to the well resulting inemissions increases during the refracturing and completionoperation. In response to comment, we further clarify this pointin the final rule, including providing a specific modificationprovision for well completions in lieu of the General Provisionsin 40 CFR 60.14. For a more detailed explanation, please seesection IX.A of this preamble. The modification determinationand resulting applicability of NSPS to the completion operationfollowing refracturing of gas wells is limited strictly to the This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  43. 43. Page 43 of 588 gas well affected facility and does not by itself triggerapplicability beyond the wellhead to other ancillary componentsthat may be at the well site such as existing storage vessels,process vessels, separators, dehydrators or any other componentsor apparatus (that is, such equipment is not part of theaffected facility). The final rule provides that uncontrolled well completionsconducted on gas wells that are subsequently refractured on orafter the effective date of this rule are modifications and aresubject to the NSPS. However, gas wells that undergo completionfollowing refracturing are not considered modified and, as aresult, are not affected facilities under the NSPS if thecompletion operation is conducted with the use, immediately uponflowback, of emission control techniques otherwise required onor after January 1, 2015, for new wells and satisfies otherrequirements, including notification, recordkeeping andreporting requirements. In the final rule, we provide for a streamlinednotification process for well completions at gas well affectedfacilities consisting of an email pre-notification no later than2 days in advance of impending completion operations. The emailmust include information that had been part of the 30-dayadvance notification, as described in the proposed rule, This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  44. 44. Page 44 of 588 including contact information for the owner and operator, wellidentification, geographic coordinates of the well and planneddate of the beginning of flowback. In the final rule, the recordkeeping and reportingrequirements for well completions also provide for astreamlining option that owners and operators may choose in lieuof the standard annual reporting requirements. The standardannual report must include copies of all well completion recordsfor each gas well affected facility for which a completionoperation was performed during the reporting period. Thealternative, streamlined annual report for gas well affectedfacilities requires submission of a list, with identifyinginformation of all affected gas wells completed, electronic orhard copy photographs documenting REC in progress for each wellfor which REC was required and the self-certification requiredin the standard annual report. The operator retains a digitalimage of each REC in progress. The image must include a digitaldate stamp and geographic coordinates stamp to help link thephotograph with the specific well completion operation.2. Standards for Compressor Affected Facilities The final rule requires measures to reduce VOC emissionsfrom centrifugal and reciprocating compressors. Compressorslocated at the wellhead or in the transmission, storage and This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  45. 45. Page 45 of 588 distribution segments are not covered by this final rule and,therefore, are not affected facilities. The final rule containsstandards for wet seal centrifugal compressors located in thenatural gas production segment and the natural gas processingsegment up the point at which the gas enters the transmissionand storage segment. The final standards require 95.0 percentreduction of the emissions from each wet seal centrifugalcompressor affected facility. The standard can be achieved bycapturing and routing the emissions to a control device thatachieves an emission reduction of 95.0 percent. The operational standards for reciprocating compressors inthe final rule require replacement of the rod packing based onusage. The owner or operator of a reciprocating compressoraffected facility is required to change the rod packingimmediately when hours of operation reach 26,000 hours(equivalent to 36 months of continuous usage). Alternatively,owners or operators can elect to change the rod packing every 36months in lieu of monitoring compressor operating hours. Anowner or operator who elects to meet the 26,000 hour requirementis required to monitor the duration (in hours) that thecompressor is operated, beginning on the date of initial startupof the reciprocating compressor affected facility, or on the This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  46. 46. Page 46 of 588 date of the previous rod packing replacement, whichever islater.3. Standards for Pneumatic Controller Affected Facilities We are also finalizing pneumatic controller VOC standards.The affected facility is a continuous bleed, natural gas-drivenpneumatic controller with a natural gas bleed rate greater than6 scfh for which construction commenced after August 23, 2011,located (1) in the oil production segment between the wellheadand the point of custody transfer to an oil pipeline; or (2) inthe natural gas production segment, excluding natural gasprocessing plants, between the wellhead and the point at whichthe gas enters the transmission and storage segment. Except forcontrollers located at natural gas processing plants, eachcontinuous bleed, natural gas-driven pneumatic controller thatemits more than 6 scfh is an affected facility if it isconstructed or modified after August 23, 2011. Pneumaticcontrollers with a bleed rate of 6 scfh or less in the oil andnatural gas production segment and all pneumatic controllerslocated in the natural gas transmission, storage anddistribution segments are not covered by this final rule and,therefore, are not affected facilities. At natural gasprocessing plants, the affected facility is each individualcontinuous bleed natural gas-operated pneumatic controller, and This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  47. 47. Page 47 of 588 the final rule includes a natural gas bleed rate limit of zeroscfh. The final emission standards for pneumatic controllers atnatural gas processing plants reflect the emission levelachievable from the use of non-natural gas-driven pneumaticcontrollers. At other locations in the oil and natural gasproduction segment, the final rule includes a natural gas bleedrate limit of 6 standard cubic feet of gas per hour for anindividual pneumatic controller. The standards provideexemptions in cases where it has been demonstrated that the useof a natural gas-driven pneumatic controller with a bleed rateabove the applicable standard is required. However, as discussedin section IX.C, the EPA is allowing a 1-year phase-in periodfor pneumatic controllers in the final rule.4. Standards for Storage Vessels The final rule contains VOC standards for new, modified orreconstructed storage vessels located in the oil and natural gasproduction, natural gas processing and natural gas transmissionand storage segments. The final rule, which applies toindividual storage vessels, requires that storage vessels withVOC emissions equal to or greater than 6 tpy achieve at least95.0 percent reduction in VOC emissions. For storage vesselsconstructed, modified or reconstructed at well sites with nowells already in production at the time of construction, This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  48. 48. Page 48 of 588 modification or reconstruction, the final rule provides a 30-dayperiod from startup for the owner or operator to determinewhether the magnitude of VOC emissions from the storage vesselwill be at least 6 tpy. If the storage vessel requires control,the final rule provides an additional 30 days for the controldevice to be installed and operational. For storage vesselsconstructed, modified or reconstructed at well sites with one ormore wells already in production at the time of construction,modification or reconstruction, these estimation andinstallation periods are not provided because an estimate of VOCemissions can be made using information on the liquid productioncharacteristics of the existing wells. In addition, the final rule provides for a 1-year phase-inperiod for storage vessel controls. Refer to section IX.E.4 ofthis preamble for further discussion.5. Standards for Affected Facilities Located at Onshore NaturalGas Processing Plants For onshore natural gas processing plants, we are revisingthe existing NSPS requirements for LDAR to reflect theprocedures and leak thresholds established by 40 CFR 60, subpartVVa. Subpart VVa lowers the leak definition for valves from10,000 ppm to 500 ppm, and requires the monitoring of This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  49. 49. Page 49 of 588 connectors. Pumps, pressure relief devices and open-ended valvesor lines are also monitored.6. Standards for Sweetening Unit Affected Facilities at OnshoreNatural Gas Processing Plants The final rule regulates SO2 emissions from natural gasprocessing plants by requiring affected facilities to reduce SO2emissions by recovering sulfur. The final rule incorporates theprovisions of 40 CFR part 60, subpart LLL into 40 CFR part 60,subpart OOOO, and minor revisions were made to adapt the subpartLLL language to subpart OOOO. The final rule also increased theSO2 emission reduction standard from the subpart LLL requirementof 99.8 percent to 99.9 percent for units with sulfur productionrate of at least 5 long tons per day. This change is based onreanalysis of the original data used in the subpart LLL BSERanalysis.B. What are the effective and compliance dates for the finalNSPS? The revisions to the existing NSPS standards and the newNSPS standards promulgated in this action are effective on[INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERALREGISTER]. Affected facilities must be in compliance with thefinal standards on the effective date, [INSERT DATE 60 DAYSAFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  50. 50. Page 50 of 588 V. Summary of the Significant Changes to the NSPS Since Proposal The previous section summarized the requirements that theEPA is finalizing in this rule. This section will discuss ingreater detail the key changes the EPA has made since proposal.These changes result from the EPA’s review of the additionaldata and information provided to us and our consideration of themany substantive and thoughtful comments submitted on theproposal. We believe the changes make the final rule more flexibleand cost-effective, address concerns with equipmentavailability, streamline recordkeeping and reportingrequirements and improve clarity, while fully preserving orimproving the public health and environmental protectionrequired by the CAA.A. Gas Well Affected Facilities We have revised the requirements for gas well affectedfacilities since proposal in response to comment. The final ruleapplies to three subcategories of fractured and refractured gaswells for which well completion operations are conducted: (1)wildcat (exploratory) and delineation gas wells; (2) non-wildcatand non-delineation gas wells for which the reservoir pressureis insufficient for a REC to be performed, as determined by asimple calculation involving reservoir pressure, well depth and This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  51. 51. Page 51 of 588 flow line pressure at the sales meter (we refer to these wellsas “low pressure gas wells”); and (3) other fractured andrefractured gas wells. In the proposed 40 CFR part 60, subpartOOOO, upon promulgation of this rule, each well completion orrecompletion at a non-exploratory or non-delineation well wouldhave had to employ REC with combustion. Because of uncertaintiesin the supply of equipment and labor over the near-term, we arenow requiring this work practice standard for completionoperations begun at subcategory (3) gas wells (non-exploratoryand non-delineation wells) on or after January 1, 2015. Untilthis date, flowback emissions must either be controlled usingREC or routed to a completion combustion device unless it istechnically infeasible or unsafe to do so. Owners and operatorsare encouraged to use REC when available during this period.Completion operations at subcategory (1) gas wells (wildcat anddelineation wells) and subcategory (2) gas wells (non-wildcatand non-delineation low pressure gas wells) begun on or after[INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERALREGISTER] are required to control flowback emissions by usingREC with combustion or by routing emissions to a completioncombustion device alone unless it is technically infeasible orunsafe to do so. This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  52. 52. Page 52 of 588  The final rule includes a specific modification provisionfor well completions in lieu of the General Provisions in 40 CFR60.14. For a more detailed explanation, please see section IX.Aof this preamble. In addition, we have revised the definition of“flowback period” to more clearly define when the flowbackperiod begins and ends. In the proposed rule, all completions at existing wells(i.e., those originally constructed on or before August 23,2011) that are subsequently fractured or refractured wereconsidered to be modifications. In the final rule, completionsof wells that are refractured on or after the rule’s effectivedate are not considered modified and, as a result, are notaffected facilities under the NSPS, if the completion operationis conducted with the use, immediately upon flowback, ofemission control techniques required on or after January 1,2015, for new wells and satisfies other requirements, includingnotification, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. In the proposed rule, we prescribed specific equipment toaccomplish an REC. In the final rule, we have removed therequired equipment specifications for REC and added operationalstandards that will result in minimizing emissions andmaximizing product recovery. In light of the comments received,we conclude that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to prohibit This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  53. 53. Page 53 of 588 the use of other equipment that can be used to accomplish an RECand that the operational standards can be achieved using avariety of equipment that can change from well to well. Initial compliance requirements for gas well affectedfacilities have also been revised and streamlined. Owners andoperators are now required to notify the Administrator of theactual date of each well completion operation by email no laterthan 2 days prior to the well completion operation, rather thanthe proposed requirement of notifying the Administrator of thedate of the well completion operation within 30 days of thecommencement of each well completion operation. The email mustinclude information that had been part of the 30-day advancenotification, as described in the proposed rule, includingcontact information for the owner and operator, wellidentification, geographic coordinates of the well and planneddate of the beginning of flowback. However, if the owner oroperator is subject to state regulations that require advancenotification of well completions and has met those advancenotification requirements, then the owner or operator isconsidered to have met the advance notification requirements forgas well completions under the NSPS. In the final rule, the recordkeeping and reportingrequirements for well completions also provide for a This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  54. 54. Page 54 of 588 streamlining option that owners and operators may choose in lieuof the standard annual reporting requirements. The standardannual report must include copies of all well completion recordsfor each gas well affected facility for which a completionoperation was performed during the reporting period. Thealternative, streamlined annual report for gas well affectedfacilities requires submission of a list, with identifyinginformation of all affected gas wells completed, electronic orhard copy photographs documenting REC in progress for each wellfor which REC was required and the self-certification requiredin the standard annual report. The operator retains a digitalimage of each REC in progress. The image must include a digitaldate stamp and geographic coordinates stamp to help link thephotograph with the specific well completion operation. Refer to section IX.B of this preamble and the Responses toComments document, available in the docket, for detaileddiscussion regarding these changes.B. Centrifugal and Reciprocating Compressor Affected Facilities In the final rule, we have made changes that impact bothreciprocating and centrifugal compressor affected facilities inresponse to comments requesting clarification. Because we arenot finalizing standards covering them, centrifugal and This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.  
  55. 55. Page 55 of 588 reciprocating compressors located in the transmission, storageand distribution segments are not affected facilities. In the proposed rule, all centrifugal compressors would berequired to use dry seals. We had also solicited comment on theuse of wet seals with controls as an acceptable alternative todry seals due to potential technical infeasibility of using dryseals for certain applications. Based on comments received, thefinal rule requires that centrifugal compressors with wet sealsreduce emissions by 95.0 percent. The standard can be achievedby capturing and routing emissions from the wet seal fluiddegassing system to a control device that reduces VOC emissionsby 95.0 percent. Testing, monitoring, recordkeeping, reportingand notification requirements associated with the controldevices have also been added. In contrast to the proposed rule,in the final rule, centrifugal compressors with dry seals arenot affected facilities. More detailed discussion of this changeis presented in section IX.D of this preamble. As proposed, owners or operators of reciprocatingcompressor affected facilities were required to change rodpacking after 26,000 hours of operation. This is equivalent toapproximately 36 months of continuous operation. Based oncomments we received, we are changing the final rule to provideoperators the option of changing the rod packing every 36 months This document is a prepublication version, signed by EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson on 4/17/2012.  We have  taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version.