EPA takes steps toward getting more accurate information about methane emissions

February 21, 2014
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – February 21, 2014) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took an important step toward ensuring that methane emissions data from the oil and natural gas sector are rigorous.

EPA’s efforts will help provide the American public and its policy-makers with a clearer and more reliable picture of the largest man-made source of climate-destabilizing methane pollution.   

“The public has a right to accurate and reliable information about the largest sources of methane pollution” said Peter Zalzal, staff attorney at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). “Methane is a potent climate-destabilizing pollutant so it’s vital that we address it. We urge EPA to swiftly finalize these long-overdue improvements to the way we gather oil and natural gas methane emissions data.”

EPA has proposed to do away with non-standardized measurement methodologies – known as “Best Available Monitoring Methods” or BAMM – in its greenhouse gas emissions inventory and reporting requirements for the oil and natural gas sector.

BAMM now allow facilities to use almost any means to collect data, making comparisons among facilities more difficult and thwarting transparency in the collection and reporting of data from this important source of methane. 

In March of 2013, Environmental Defense Fund petitioned EPA to eliminate these problematic methodologies.

Eliminating BAMM will strengthen public transparency and accountability with regards to emissions from the oil and natural gas sector. It will also inform action to reduce methane emissions from these sources using commonsense and cost-effective clean air measures. 

EPA’s proposal would take effect January 1, 2015, at which time facilities in the oil and gas sector will have had a total of four years to transition to these more rigorous and transparent methods of data collection and reporting.  

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