Regulatory Activity

EPA To Propose New GHG Emissions Rule for Oil and Gas Facilities

The EPA is proposing revisions to the greenhouse gas reporting rule for oil and gas facilities that will revise calculation methods, monitoring and data reporting requirements, terms and definitions including confidentiality determinations. Affected parties are likely to include: pipeline transportation of natural gas, natural gas distribution facilities, crude petroleum and natural gas extraction facilities and natural gas liquid extraction facilities. While EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the documentation on February 20, 2014, the proposed rule is still pending publication but is anticipated shortly. Once published, the public comment period will be open for 45 days. Click here for the fact sheet.

Fracturing – New EPA Guidance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its permitting guidance for using diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing.  EPA has clarified its Underground Injection Control (UIC) program requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and has released recommendations for EPA permit writers to consider when implementing UIC requirements.  The new revised guidance and related documents can be accessed here.

EPA Proposes New Farm Safety Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon be accepting comment on its proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard concerning pesticide exposure which could impact two million farm workers.  Changes could affect personal protection equipment, frequency of trainings and signage postings. In addition, if adopted, the rule would incorporate a “first time-ever minimum age requirement” barring children under the age of 16 from handling pesticides – with an exemption for family farms.

Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

Oil/Gas Operations on Federal Leases

Thursday, February 27: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, will hold an oversight hearing on a recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) report focusing on the U.S. Department of Interior and its hiring and retention of federal employees who oversee oil and gas operations on federal leases.

Climate Change and Adaption

Tuesday, February 25: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight, will hold a hearing titled “Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting Ecosystems and Economies.” Testimony will be heard from: the Executive Office of the President; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Defenders of Wildlife; National Wildlife Refuge Association; Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association; Ecosense Environmental and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.


Thursday, February 27: The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold its fourth hearing in a series on the Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization. The Act, which was last reauthorized in 2007 focuses on fishery management in the U.S. This hearing will focus on the North Pacific region.


Thursday, February 27: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water and Power, will hold hearings on a variety of conservation topics including: the development of marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies; Bureau of Reclamation management of infrastructure assets, funding for the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act; provisions of the Secure Water Act; and authorizing the development of non-federal hydropower.


Thursday, February 27: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a full committee hearing titled, “Recycling Electronics: A Common Sense Solution for Enhancing Government Efficiency and Protecting Our Environment.”