EPA Offers No Timetable for Methane Rule at Current Drilling Sites
A top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official said regulations on methane leaks from new oil and gas well are coming “soon” but sidestepped questions on when a similar rule for existing wells will come out.
The Obama administration is focused on first collecting data for a potential existing well rule, said Janet McCabe, head of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. That type of information, she said, will help EPA regulators write a rule to cut down on drilling-site emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
But, challenged at a Bloomberg Government event on 27 April whether such a regulation will come before Obama leaves office, McCabe would not say. “We have been moving in a very methodical manner to address pollution in ways that withstood legal challenges and are making a difference on the ground, and that is what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re proceeding step by step by step, using our legal authorities to address these important issues. Every step that we’re taking is focused in that direction.”
Establishing rules on methane is one of the EPA’s top priorities before Obama leaves office next year.