Thursday, September 29, 2022

Final Reg. Reducing Methane From Conventional Oil & Gas Facilities NOT On Environmental Quality Board Agenda For Oct. 12; Will Consider Final PFOS/PFOA MCL Rule

Part II of the final regulation reducing methane/volatile organic compound emissions from conventional oil and gas facilities is not on the
agenda for the Environmental Quality Board meeting on October 12.

Part I of the regulation covering unconventional shale gas facilities was approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission in July, but is opposed by Republicans in the General Assembly.  Read more here.

A resolution to block final publication of Part I of the regulation will be on the House Calendar when they come back to voting session October 24.  The House has until November 15 to act on the resolution.

The Senate also has the opportunity to adopt the resolution, but it is only in session for a limited number of voting days until both the Senate and House adjourn for the year on November 16 and all bills and resolutions have to start over in January.

Conventional oil and gas facilities account for 80 percent of methane emissions from this industry in Pennsylvania because they have done little or nothing to control them.  The unconventional shale gas industry accounts for 20 percent because they have implemented some controls.  Read more here.

DEP said both parts of the regulation are needed to comply with a mandate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt controls on methane emissions from oil and gas operations by December 16 or face the potential loss of over $500 million in federal highway funds.  Read more here.

DEP has few options left for finalizing the regulations before the December 16 EPA deadline.

Click Here for more background on this issue.


A final regulation adopting a PFOS/PFOA ‘forever chemical’ Maximum Contaminant Limit in drinking water is on the agenda for the EQB meeting October 12.

No significant changes were made from the proposed regulation as a result of public comment.

DEP is not recommending an MCL for other PFAS chemicals at this time due to lack of occurrence data, incomplete cost/benefit data, the lack of a reference dose and the lack of treatability data.

The final MCL for PFOA is proposed at 14 ppt and the MCLG (MCL Goal) at 8 ppt.

The final MCL for PFOS is proposed at 18 ppt and the MCLG (MCL Goal) at 14 ppt.

The current EPA recommended health protection level is 70 ppt, although EPA recently announced a new strategy for dealing with PFAS “forever” chemicals.  Read more here.

The final regulation also sets proposed monitoring and sampling requirements.

The regulation would affect about 2,898 water systems in Pennsylvania.

DEP is estimating the regulation will cost water systems an estimated $115.3 million in annual treatment capital and operation and maintenance costs per million gallons per day.

Annual performance monitoring costs would be an estimated $6.2 million.

The regulation is a result of a rulemaking petition submitted by the Delaware RiverKeeper and accepted by the Environmental Quality Board in August of 2017.  Read more here.

Click Here for more information on this final regulation.

Visit DEP’s PFAS in Pennsylvania webpage for more information on this issue.

Also on the agenda is a final regulation setting VOC Air Quality RACT requirements for shipbuilding and other operations.

The meeting will be held in-person and remotely starting at 9:00 a.m.    Click Here to register to join the meeting remotely.

For more information and available handouts, visit the Environmental Quality Board webpage.  Questions should be directed to Laura Griffin,,  717-772-3277.

(Photo: Methane leaking from conventional gas well in Allegheny County, Earthworks.)

Related Articles:

-- IRRC Unanimously Approves Part I Of Final Reg. Reducing VOC/Methane Emissions From Unconventional Shale Gas Facilities; DEP Moves To Avoid Federal Highway Funding Sanctions


-- Republicans On House Committee Disapprove Final Reg. To Reduce VOC/Methane Emissions From Unconventional Oil & Gas Facilities Risking $500 Million In Federal Highway Funds

-- EPA: New Drinking Water Health Advisories Set For 4 PFAS Chemicals; $1 Billion In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding Available For Cleanup

Related Articles This Week:

-- DEP Issues 2 NOVs Against PA General Energy For Water Pollution Discharges Into The Loyalsock Creek From Gas Pipeline/Water Withdraw Construction In Lycoming County  [PaEN] 

-- Pitt School Of Public Health, PA Dept Of Health Abruptly Pull Out Of Oct. 5 Public Meeting They Helped Convene On Studies Looking At Links Between Natural Gas Development And Childhood Cancer Rates  [PaEN]

-- DEP Posts First Invitation For Bids For Plugging 79 Conventional Natural Gas Wells In Allegheny, Butler, McKean, Potter Counties Under Federally-Funded Program  [PaEN]

-- DEP/Susquehanna River Basin Commission Public Notices -- Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities  [PaEN]

-- Forbes: U.S. Natural Gas Production Set New Record, But Don’t Expect Relief On Your Heating Bills [LNG Exports Link U.S./PA To High Prices]  [PaEN]

-- DEP Now Accepting Applications For Cooking In Healthy Electrified Commercial Kitchens Rebate Program; 3 Cooking In Energy Efficient Kitchens Webinars   [PaEN] 

-- FracTracker Alliance Accepting Nominations For 2022 Community Sentinel Awards  [PaEN]

[Posted: September 29, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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