Natural gas processors will begin reporting to EPA's Toxic Substances Inventory in 2023 | Troutman Pepper-JDSupra

2021-12-06 21:19:39 By : Ms. Tina Tang

In the final rule published in the Federal Register on November 24, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly finalized a proposed rule with fierce competition to add natural gas processing facilities to the need to report certain chemicals under Article 313 The emergency plan and the Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), also known as the Toxic Substances Emissions Inventory (TRI), are included in the list of industries that emit products. The factory must report to the TRI the release of specific chemicals and waste management in the following cases: (1) have 10 or more full-time employees, (2) have a major Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or North American Industry The codes listed in the Classification System (NAICS) regulations, and (3) certain listed chemicals that are manufactured, processed or otherwise used in quantities exceeding a certain threshold in a calendar year.

The extension of the TRI reporting requirement to natural gas processors was originally proposed by the Obama administration in 2017 in response to a 2012 petition by the environmental organization that required the EPA to add the oil and gas extraction industry sector to the scope of the TRI program Inside. Although the EPA rejected most of the petitions in 2015, the agency agreed to continue to include natural gas processing plants and issued a proposed rule in early 2017. The proposal remained dormant throughout the Trump administration, until the Biden Environmental Protection Agency finalized the rule the day before. Thank you. The final rule came into effect on December 27 and is applicable to the reporting year of 2022. The deadline for reporting is July 1, 2023. The rule was introduced after another recent EPA rule-making work for the oil and gas industry.

In the final rulemaking, EPA responded to the public's comments on the proposed rule, but it was strongly opposed by the industry. EPA pointed out that some commentators believe that EPCRA only allows EPA to change the list of chemicals covered by TRI, and does not allow the public to request EPA to change the list of industries reported by TRI. EPA responded by stating that under the Administrative Procedure Law, citizens can apply for general procedures for formulating rules, and under EPCRA's independent power, industry sectors can be added or deleted from TRI, and regulations required to implement the regulations can be promulgated. In the proposed rules, commenters raised some additional concerns, including the fact that most of the data reported is already in the public domain, the EPA underestimated the burden on the regulated community, and there will be confusion in the industry about what constitutes being bound by the rule. Facilities" and whether certain facilities belong to the industry code determined in the rules. EPA rejected all these concerns in the final rule.

EPA’s final rules extend the TRI requirements to qualified facilities “mainly engaged in the recovery of liquid hydrocarbons from oil and gas fields” by adding SIC code 1321 (natural gas liquid) and NAICS code 211130 (natural gas liquid extraction) to the TRI regulations. EPA It is estimated (based on its 2017 proposal) that at least 282 natural gas processing facilities will be subject to the rule because they meet the TRI threshold of 10 or more full-time employees and they manufacture, process or otherwise use at least one Kind of TRI-listed chemicals. EPA believes that natural gas processing facilities use at least 21 different TRI listed chemicals, including n-hexane, hydrogen sulfide, toluene, benzene, xylene, and methanol. EPA estimates that the industry’s minimum compliance cost is at least US$11.8 million in the first year and US$5.6 million thereafter. If you have any questions about the final rules, please contact Melissa Horne or Randy Brogdon.

Disclaimer: Due to the general nature of this update, the information provided here may not be applicable in all situations, and action should not be taken without specific legal advice based on specific circumstances.

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