Groups Oppose EPA Proposal to Weaken Air Standards for Oil & Gas Industry, Indefinitely Waive Controls for 20,000 Existing Oil & Gas Storage Tanks

May 29, 2013

Six watchdog groups—the Clean Air Council, Clean Air Task Force, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Integrity Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club—filed comments yesterday calling on EPA to abandon its proposal to weaken, delay, and waive critical air pollution controls for the oil and gas industry.  Among EPA’s proposed revisions is an indefinite waiver of controls for 20,000 storage tanks constructed at oil and gas production sites between 2011 and 2013.  By exempting these tanks from requirements to install pollution controls, EPA’s proposal will result in emissions of over three million tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause cancer and exacerbate asthma, and nearly 700,000 tons of methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.  EPA’s proposal will also delay controls for newly constructed tanks for another six months, resulting in nearly 450,000 additional tons of VOCs and 100,000 tons of methane, and allow other tanks to remove controls entirely.  The six groups said in the comments made public today that EPA has not justified this departure from its duties under the Clean Air Act.

For the press release, click here.

For the groups’ comments to EPA, click here