(Washington, D.C. – March 13, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to improve its methane emissions data collection methods has now been published in the Federal Register.That step moves the country one step closer to ensuring that data from the oil and natural gas sector is more rigorous. Rigorous data 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.
“Methane is a potent climate-destabilizing pollutant so it’s vital that we address it, and we can only do if we have accurate and reliable information about the largest sources of methane pollution” said Peter Zalzal, staff attorney at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). “We urge EPA to swiftly finalize these long-overdue improvements to the way we gather oil and natural gas methane emissions data.”
EPA’s proposal would eliminate 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.
You can read the full proposal in the Federal Register.