DEC announces proposed regulations to reduce methane emissions in NYS

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New regulations have been proposed in New York State to cut down methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector.

The proposal for these new regulations were announced on Wednesday by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Specifically the regulations would help to reduce methane and volatile organic compound emissions statewide from existing oil and natural gas infrastructure.

According to the DEC methane is second to carbon dioxide in its contribution to climate change due to its high volume in the atmosphere and strong radiative effects.

Specifically, the proposed regulations would reduce more than 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, comparable to taking an estimated 236,753 cars off the road. Additionally, the regulation significantly reduce, and sometimes prohibit, the venting of natural the venting of natural gas to the atmosphere at wells, compressor stations, storage sites, and metering and regulating stations. In addition, the proposed regulations contain rigorous leak detection and repair requirements for oil and gas infrastructure, as well as requirements for controls and operations.    

“New York State continues to lead the nation in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the harmful impacts of these emissions on our environment, economy, and communities,” state DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York’s transition to clean, renewable sources of energy is ongoing, and these proposed regulations will play a critical role helping to achieve the State’s ambitious climate goals by capturing and preventing leaks and unnecessary venting of methane from oil and natural gas wells and compressor stations.” 

The DEC confirmed that there are a total of 32 permitted compressor station and 117 compressors in New York State. The state also has 27 underground natural gas storage sources estimated 3,000 to 4,000 metering stations.

The Department stated that the proposed regulations will be published in the State Register and will available for review on May 12, 2021. DEC has scheduled two virtual public hearings on the proposal at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on July 20. DEC is accepting public comments on the proposal until 5 p.m. on July 26, 2021. 

This announcement made was made during the Department of Environmental Conservation’s week-long celebration of Earth Week 2021.

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