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Press Release

EPA Proposes Updates to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Requirements for the Oil and Gas Sector

Published by Todd Bush on July 7, 2023

Revisions to EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program required by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act would improve accuracy of the sector’s reported methane emissions, one of the major drivers of climate change

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposal to amend reporting requirements for petroleum and natural gas systems under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The proposed revisions would improve the accuracy of reported emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), including methane, one of the primary drivers of the climate crisis, from applicable petroleum and natural gas facilities, consistent with the Methane Emissions Reduction Program under the Inflation Reduction Act.

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“The Biden-Harris Administration is moving urgently to reduce climate pollution, and EPA is working to ensure science leads the way with the most accurate emissions data possible,” said Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “The proposed revisions to EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program will leverage advancements in technology to produce high-quality, long-term data for emitters, contributing important insights into emissions trends as we work to protect people and the planet.”

EPA’s proposed amendments to subpart W of the GHG reporting program would address gaps in the total methane emissions reported by facilities by adding several new covered sources such as “other large release events,” which would capture abnormal methane emission events that are not fully accounted for using existing methods. These changes to address gaps in emissions reporting will improve and advance a key program that underpins President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda.

The amendments would also add new or revise existing calculation methodologies to improve the accuracy of reported emissions data for methane and other greenhouse gases and incorporate additional empirical data; include the use of new technologies such as remote sensing for quantifying emissions from other large release events; and collect data at a more granular level to improve verification and transparency of the data collected. In addition, EPA is proposing determinations to establish whether data submitted to the Agency under the proposed revisions would be entitled to confidential treatment.

EPA is proposing that most revisions would become effective on January 1, 2025, and that reporters would implement most of the changes beginning with reports prepared for the 2025 reporting year and submitted by March 31, 2026. EPA will take comment on these proposals for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. For more information about this action, please visit the GHG Reporting Program Rulemaking Resources web page.

Background on the Methane Emissions Reduction Program in the Inflation Reduction Act

Section 60113 of the Inflation Reduction Act amends the Clean Air Act and directs EPA to impose and collect a charge on methane emissions that exceed certain waste emissions thresholds. The law requires that EPA revise the requirements of subpart W to ensure the reporting is based on empirical data, accurately reflects the total methane emissions (and waste emissions) from the applicable facilities, and allow owners and operators of applicable facilities to submit empirical emissions data to demonstrate the extent to which a charge is owed.

This proposal is about improving the methane emissions data reported to the agency. EPA expects to release a separate proposed rule relating to implementation of the waste emissions charge in fall 2023. On June 30, the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy announced a partnership to provide more than $1 billion in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help reduce wasteful methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

Background about Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Requirements for Petroleum and Natural Gas Sector

The GHG Reporting Program requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) data and other relevant information from large GHG emission sources, fuel and industrial gas suppliers, and CO2 injection sites in the United States. Approximately 8,000 facilities are required to report their emissions annually, and the reported data are made available to the public in October of each year.

Under Subpart W of the GHG Reporting Program, owners or operators of facilities that contain petroleum and natural gas systems and emit 25,000 metric tons or more of GHGs per year (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) report GHG data to EPA. Owners or operators collect GHG data; calculate GHG emissions; and follow the specified procedures for quality assurance, missing data, recordkeeping, and reporting. Subpart W consists of emission sources in ten segments of the petroleum and natural gas industry.

Learn more about greenhouse gas reporting requirements for petroleum and natural gas systems.

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