NatGas, Oil Industry Partnership Reduces Methane Emissions

America’s natural gas and oil industry announced “a landmark partnership” in late 2017 called the Environmental Partnership, to “accelerate improvements to environmental performance in operations across the country” (see NatGas, Oil Industry Partnership to Accelerate Methane Reductions). The first area of focus has been to reduce methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. How is it going?
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Mass. DEP Issues Air Permit for Weymouth Compressor Station

A little good news coming from New England, for a change. Over objections of radical anti-fossil fuel nutters, the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Friday granted an air permit for a compressor station in Weymouth. The compressor station is part of the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge expansion project, stalled since 2017. The administration of MA Gov. Charlie Baker (RINO) issued an air permit for the project in January of this year (see Antis Outraged: Massachusetts Gov Approves Weymouth Compress Stn). Antis promptly challenged the DEP permit, dragging out the process another six months.
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Gas Group ONE Future Scores Important New Member: Williams

It’s always better for an industry, like the oil and gas industry, to self-regulate rather than wait for the heavy hand of the government to do it. Case in point: There’s a coalition of upstream (drilling), midstream (pipeline) and downstream (utility) companies that formed an industry group called ONE Future, begun back in 2014. The aim of the group is lower methane emissions across all aspects of the natural gas infrastructure system nationwide to emit (lose into the atmosphere) no more than 1% by 2025. The group began with eight members and today has 17. Many of the members have major operations in the Marcellus/Utica. ONE Future’s newest member is pipeline giant Williams.
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Study Shows No Health Impacts from Marcellus Drilling Near School

One of the false allegations made against shale drilling is that it somehow pollutes the air–of particular concern near schools. A new independent two-year study commissioned by Range Resources at one of their drilling sites, located about a mile from a local school, thoroughly debunks that allegation. A first-of-its kind public health and long-term ambient air monitoring report (full copy below) provides analysis from nearly two years of continuous data from an unconventional Marcellus Shale well site nearby a high school and elementary school campus in Washington County, PA. The study found no health impacts from shale drilling.
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PA Senate Democrats Hold Anti-Shale Crapfest in Pittsburgh

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing in Pittsburgh, supposedly on strategies for combating mythical man-made global warming by reducing methane gas emissions. It reality it was an anti-shale crapfest, complete with speeches by radicals from PennFuture and the Environmental Defense Fund.
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PA DEP Committee Votes to Approve Onerous New Air Regs

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee voted to recommend the DEP move forward with a proposed new regulation to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, with a side benefit of reducing methane emissions, from existing oil and gas operations. It was a split vote, but it propels the regs to the next level.
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Enviros Don’t Like Gov. Wolf’s Onerous New Air Regs Either

regulations

In December, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of onerous new regulations that focus on reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and so-called fugitive methane. The new regs will force drillers and pipeline companies to spend big bucks to produce a teeny tiny improvement in emissions. The DEP followed up with a revised version just a few weeks ago (see PA DEP Releases Onerous New Air Regulations, Again).
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PA DEP Releases Onerous New Air Regulations, Again

In December, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of onerous new regulations that focus on reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and so-called fugitive methane (see Pa. DEP Jumps the Gun with Proposed New Emissions Regs). The new regs will force drillers and pipeline companies to spend big bucks to produce a teeny tiny improvement in emissions. The DEP is back with yet another revision of their onerous new regs, hoping this time they can ram them through and make them law.
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PA DEP to Push Onerous New Air Regs at Upcoming Meeting

In December, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of onerous new regulations that focus on reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and so-called fugitive methane (see Pa. DEP Jumps the Gun with Proposed New Emissions Regs). The new regs will force drillers and pipeline companies to spend big bucks to produce a teeny tiny improvement in emissions. The DEP is back, once again pushing its bad plan.
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Acid Rain Emissions from Power Plants Flat Thru 2050 Thx to Shale

Yesterday MDN brought you the story of a so-called acid rain permit issued to Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant (see PA DEP to Issue “Acid Rain Permit” to Scranton Gas-Fired Power Plant). We outlined in that article the teeny tiny amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2), the stuff that causes acid rain, that gas-fired plants emit compared to coal and oil-fired plants.
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Va. State Agency Approves Atlantic Coast Pipe Compressor Stn

Artists rendering of ACP Buckingham County compress station (click for larger version)

Finally a little good news for Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline project: The Virginia State Air Quality Board voted yesterday 4-0 to approve a compressor station for the pipeline in Buckingham County.
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PA DEP’s New Air Regs Would Exempt 80% of Conventional Wells

Last week MDN told you about onerous new regulations being proposed by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to cut down on supposed methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions coming from *existing* oil and gas wells and pipelines (see Pa. DEP Jumps the Gun with Proposed New Emissions Regs). In our initial reporting on the proposed new regulations, one bit of information escaped our attention: Most of PA’s conventional wells (80% or more) will be exempted from these new rules. And PA’s conventional wells reportedly account for more than 50% of supposed methane emissions. There are approximately 80,000 active conventional oil and gas wells in PA, and about 10,600 active shale gas wells in PA.
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Pa. DEP Jumps the Gun with Proposed New Emissions Regs

We told you that yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) was meeting to unveil proposed new regulations to cut down on so-called fugitive methane emissions from existing well pads and pipelines (see Proposed New O&G Emissions Regs Will Disadvantage PA Drillers). They met and released a draft of onerous new regulations that focus more on reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than they do fugitive methane–but the result is still the same: Force drillers and pipeline companies to spend bazillions of dollars to produce a teeny tiny improvement in emissions. The Marcellus Shale Coalition said, “Rather than creating more regulatory uncertainty [with these new regs at this time], it would be prudent for DEP to delay any regulatory proposals until federal rules are finalized,” pointing out the fact that federal rules are not yet finalized. In other words, Wolf’s DEP is jumping the gun.
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PA DEP Releasing Expensive New O&G Emissions Reg

The liberal PA Gov. Tom Wolf administration continues to tinker with (i.e. destroy) the Marcellus miracle in the Keystone State. In August the Wolf Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after years of work, implemented onerous new regulations to cut down on so-called fugitive methane emissions from *new* drilling and pipelines (see PA Harms Drillers, Pipelines with Over-Strict Methane Rules). Don’t worry, *existing* well pads and pipelines are now in Wolf’s crosshairs. On a different but parallel track, the DEP has, for some time, considered requiring new regulations to further reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at oil and gas sites (see PA DEP Considers Rule Reducing/Eliminating VOC Emissions for O&G). The DEP has just released a draft of those regs, and will hold a meeting to discuss the new proposed regulation on Dec. 13.
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