Off the Hook: Oil & Gas Operators No Longer Have to Comply With Obama-Era Information Requests Regarding Existing Oil & Gas Operations

Effective March 2, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn the Obama Administration’s requests for information issued to owners and operators regarding equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas facilities. The information sought was twofold: (i) an “operator survey” that requested basic information on the numbers and types of equipment at all onshore oil and gas production facilities in the U.S. and (ii) a “facility survey” that sought more detailed information on the sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices used at said facilities. The EPA, under new Administrator Scott Pruitt, said “[t]oday’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while [the EPA takes] a closer look at the need for additional information from [the] industry.” Note: any oil and gas owner or operator that previously received an extension of time to provide such information to the EPA is no longer obligated to respond, per this action.