Black Millennials 4 Flint Issues Official Statement on EPA’s Final Methane Rule

Dec 2, 2023 | BM4F Spotlights, Uncategorized, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

EPA estimates that from 2024 to 2038 the standards will reduce methane from covered sources by 80%.

December 2, 2023 

Washington, DC– Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Final Methane Rule which aims to cut methane pollution and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and gas sector. While there is significant work to be done to completely move away from natural gas, this rule will take an important step forward in providing safeguards from toxic methane pollution that will get us closer to solving the climate crisis, protect public health, and create well paid green careers. According to the EPA’s recent announcement, “Methane is a climate “super pollutant” that is more potent than carbon dioxide and is responsible for approximately one third of current warming resulting from human activities. Rapid, sharp cuts in methane can generate near-immediate climate benefits and are a crucial addition to cutting carbon dioxide in slowing the rate of warming of Earth’s atmosphere.” 

“As the youngest African American woman appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, I am encouraged to learn that the Biden Administration is listening to Black Women. Methane has significant, detrimental impacts on Black Maternal Health and children’s health. Children who are exposed to increased levels of methane puts them at a higher risk of asthma attacks, cancer and other illnesses. In addition, child birthing people exposed to methane pollution have a higher risk that their babies will be born with congenital disorders. This move in the right direction with strengthening the methane rule will save the lives of people who look like me and our future babies. Every human being’s first environment is the womb and it must be protected at all costs. The establishment of the most stringent methane rule is paramount.” – LaTricea D. Adams, MAT, EdS, Founder CEO and President, Black Millennials 4 Flint 

Here are some quick takeaways regarding the final rule: 

  • Leak monitoring: the final rule includes comprehensive leak monitoring requirements that ensure all sites are subject to regular inspections, including low-producing and inactive sites. All sites with failure-prone equipment are subject to quarterly instrument-based inspections. 
  • Advanced technologies: EPA has provided a forward-looking, flexible, and technology neutral monitoring pathway that will enable deployment of demonstrated and effective advanced methane detection technologies, supporting innovation and jobs, while driving significant emission reductions.
  • Pneumatics: the final rule retains the protective, sector-wide zero pollution standard for both new and existing pneumatic controllers, with a limited exception for sites on the Alaska North Slope. 
  • Flaring of associated gas: EPA has substantially strengthened flaring provisions from the proposals by requiring new sources–where the vast majority of flaring occurs–to eliminate routine flaring within two years of rule finalization. Existing sources will be subject to the standards included in the supplemental, where flaring is only permitted if all other abatement options are technically infeasible. Existing sources that flare minimal amounts of gas are exempt. 
  • Super Emitter Program: EPA has finalized the super-emitter program enabling certified third parties to submit independent monitoring data showing large emissions (>100kg/hr) to EPA who will then notify the responsible operator of their obligation to investigate and correct the problem. EPA will publicly post the emission notification in real time so nearby communities are aware and can take protective action.

Check out the following resources to learn more about the Final Methane Rule: 

Regulatory Documents

Fact Sheets

Tables

Upcoming Trainings

EPA will hold trainings in early 2024 to provide an overview of the final rule for  communities, Tribes, tribal environmental professionals and small businesses. The Agency also will hold trainings on how to apply to use alternate test methods for detecting methane and on how to apply to be EPA-certified for the Super Emitter Program. We will post information on the trainings on this web page as they are scheduled.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *