MSC Statement on Proposed EPA Air Regulations

Canonsburg, PA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a series of proposed air emission regulations surrounding the development of American natural gas and oil. The proposed regulations are a result of a “consent decree”, or settlement, stemming from a federal lawsuit brought forth by two groups – based in New Mexico and Colorado, respectively – opposed to the responsible development of American natural gas. Kathryn Z. Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) issued this statement in response:

“While we understand that EPA is required by law to periodically evaluate current standards, this sweeping set of potentially unworkable regulations represents an overreach that could, ironically, undercut the production of American natural gas, an abundant energy resource that is critical to strengthening our nation’s air quality.

“As this process moves forward, we look forward to providing EPA with fact-based information regarding our best practices and industry-leading operations, which are ensuring that the region’s air quality is not impacted. In fact, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection studies have determined that Marcellus activities do not present any ‘air-related health issues.’

“Our state regulators are keeping an eye on the ball. However, it’s not clear if EPA is as well.”

BACKGROUND

PA DEP, 11/1/10: Southwest Pa. Marcellus Shale Short-Term Air Sampling Report

  • Short-term sampling did detect concentrations of certain natural gas constituents including methane, ethane and propane, and associated compounds such as benzene, in the air near Marcellus Shale drilling operations.
  • Results of the limited ambient air sampling initiative conducted in the southwest region did not identify concentrations of any compound that would likely trigger air-related health issues associated with Marcellus Shale drilling activities.

PA DEP, 1/12/11: Northeastern Pa. Marcellus Shale Short-Term Ambient Air Sampling Report

  • Results of the limited ambient air sampling initiative in the northeast region did not identify concentrations of any compound that would likely trigger air-related health issues associated with Marcellus Shale drilling activities.

PA DEP, 5/6/11: Northcentral Pa. Marcellus Shale Short-Term Ambient Air Sampling Report

  • Results of the limited ambient air sampling initiative in the northeast region did not identify concentrations of any compound that would likely trigger air-related health issues associated with Marcellus Shale drilling activities.

FLASHBACK: “EIA reports a record-setting 5.8-percent decline in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2009”

  • There was also a decline in the carbon dioxide intensity of U.S. energy supply (CO2 per unit of energy) in 2009, caused primarily by a drop in the price of natural gas relative,” as “more natural gas consumed for the generation of electricity.” (EIA release, 3/31/11)