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API's Comments on EPA's proposed oil and gas pollution rule

API's Comments on EPA's proposed oil and gas pollution rule

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Published by: jendlouhy on Dec 01, 2011
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Howard J. Feldman
DirectorRegulatory and Scientific Affairs
1220 L Street, NWWashington, DC20005Telephone: 202-682-8340Email: feldman@api.orgwww.api.org 
November 30, 2011Assistant Administrator Regina McCarthyU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyEPA West (Air Docket), Room 33341301 Constitution Ave., NWWashington, DC 20004Attention: Docket ID Number EPA–HQ–OAR–2010–0505
submitted via email to a-and-r-docket@epa.gov
Ref.: Proposed Rulemaking Oil and Gas Sector RegulationsStandards of Performance for New Stationary Sources: Oil and Natural GasProduction and Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution;National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Oil and NaturalGas Production Facilities; andNational Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Natural GasTransmission and Storage Facilities(Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505)
Assistant Administrator McCarthy:The American Petroleum Institute (API) is pleased to provide comment on the proposed rulemakings thatwill modify the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) 40 CFR Part 60 Subparts KKK and LLL,create a new Subpart OOOO, and modify Part 63 National Emission Standards for Hazardous AirPollutants (NESHAP) Subparts HH and HHH as a result of EPA’s sector-based rulemaking for the oil andnatural gas (O&G) industry. API represents more than 480 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of atechnology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7percent of the U.S. economy, and delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government.Most of our members will be directly impacted by these proposed regulations.First, API commends the efforts that your staff has made to learn about the oil and natural gas productionindustry. With respect to the proposal, we have limited concern with the selected control technologies,which are emission control techniques developed by our industry over many years of operatingexperience. However, we are concerned about the broad applicability and the one-size-fits-all approachof the proposed rule to regulating an industry that varies greatly in the type, size and complexity of operations.
2The following are critical concerns with the proposed rules:
The proposed rule expands listed categories and applies NSPS to new affected facilities in uniqueand unprecedented ways that are outside the Agency’s authority. There are NSPS sourcesincluded in the proposed rule that emit little to no regulated pollutant or are construction-relatedemissions sources that are temporary (i.e., not routine), neither of which should be included in therule.
EPA’s schedule will not allow adequate time to review and analyze all stakeholder comments,develop necessary revisions to the rules, and complete internal and interagency reviews. Fourmonths between close of the comment period and promulgation of a final rule is unrealistic andunacceptable for these significant rules impacting an industry as large and vital to the U.S.economy as the oil and gas industry.
The equipment prescribed to conduct Reduced Emission Completions will simply not beavailable in time to comply with the current final rule schedule. We believe it will take years tomanufacture sufficient specialized equipment and adequately train operators how to safelyconduct these operations.
EPA cost analyses are based on “average model facilities” that do not represent all equipment andcompliance costs and, without proper variability analysis to represent the wide variety of operations in the O&G industry, fail to identify when the controls are no longer economic.
The system of notifications, monitoring, recordkeeping, performance testing and reportingrequirements for compliance assurance are overly burdensome for the small and/or temporaryaffected facilities that EPA is regulating. This is a waste of time and resources for both industryand the EPA.
EPA has expanded an already conservative risk analysis to include “MACT allowable” emissionsand wrongly concluded that additional requirements are needed. The modeling of 
emissions under the existing rules indicates that the public is protected with an ample margin of safety.Therefore, API urges the Agency to:1.
Consult with State air pollution control agency representatives on the expansion of the sourcecategory for the new and unique affected facilities as required by CAA §111(f)(3) and re-proposecertain new affected source regulations as necessary.2.
Extend the final rule deadline one year to April 5, 2013 to adequately address stakeholdercomments.3.
Allow sufficient compliance time (varying from 60 days to at least 2 years) to comply with theequipment specific NSPS requirements following promulgation of the final rule (see technicalcomments).
Revise the economic analyses to include all compliance cost and operational variables. Theserevised analyses should be used to limit the emission controls applicability to operations wherethey are economically justifiable.5.
Significantly reduce the compliance assurance complexity and burden by replacing the generalprovisions notification, recordkeeping and reporting requirements with specific requirements inNSPS, Subpart OOOO. Monitoring and performance testing requirements should be appropriatefor small, remote and dispersed sites in the O&G industry.6.
Maintain the existing NESHAP HH and HHH to reflect the low risk posed to the public fromthese sources.To facilitate the review of our comments, we have summarized critical issues with the proposed rules inan Executive Summary followed by detailed technical comments. Additionally, we have attached adocument with the regulatory language marked up to show how our comments could be accommodated inthe regulatory text (Attachment C). Finally, additional attachments are included to document certainpoints made in our detailed comments.API remains committed to helping the Agency promulgate a cost effective, clear regulation to reduce theimpact of our operations on air quality and look forward to the opportunity to meet and discuss thesecomments with you and your staff.We appreciate your consideration of our concerns. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Todd(202-682-8319; todd@api.org
)or me.Sincerely, /s/ Howard J. FeldmanCC: Bruce Moore, EPADavid Cozzie, EPASteve Page, EPA

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