Other Shoe Drops: PA Methane Emissions Regs for Existing Sources

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Administration has been fiddling with proposed regulations to cut down on so-called fugitive methane emissions from drilling and pipelines for years. The regulations are known as General Permit 5 (GP-5) and General Permit 5A (GP-5A). GP-5 applies to pipelines and compressor stations, while GP-5A applies to well pads and drilling. In June, the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), author of the revised regs, published its final final final final version of the regs (see PA DEP Releasing Onerous New GP-5 & 5A Methane Regs June 8). The new regs will go into effect this month. But here’s the thing. These onerous regulations apply only to *new* and not *existing* sources of methane emissions. With the revised regs about to go into effect for new sources, right on cue Big Green groups began pressuring Wolf to apply them to existing sources too (see Big Green Pressures Gov. Wolf to Expand Onerous Methane Regs). That was, of course, the intention all along–to hamstring (and shut down) the Marcellus industry by saddling it with insanely high costs to comply with regulations that won’t do a thing to “save the planet” from methane poisoning (a non-existent threat). Unfortunately the Wolf DEP is signaling it will propose insanely onerous new methane emissions regulations for *existing* sources in early 2019. So this is fair warning to the industry to begin a counter-offensive now. It’s also fair warning to conventional drillers–the DEP is going to float new regs for you in 1Q19 as well…

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