Interior Department Finalizes New Waste Prevention Rule

WASHINGTON – As part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing goal to reduce the regulatory burden on the American people and foster economic growth and energy development by using innovation, best science, and best practices, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced a final rule that revises the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule (also known as the Venting and Flaring Rule).  The new rule, which included a 60-day public comment period, will reduce unnecessary burdens on the private sector and restore proven regulations at a time when investment in Federal onshore oil and gas is skyrocketing. 

“Sadly, the flawed 2016 rule was a radical assertion of legal authority that stood in stark contrast to the longstanding understanding of Interior’s own lawyers,” said Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt. “The Trump Administration is committed to innovative regulatory improvement and environmental stewardship, while appropriately respecting the clear and distinct authorities of the States, Tribes, as well as the direction we receive from Congress.”

The BLM reviewed the 2016 rule and found that it had considerable overlap in existing State, Tribal and Federal regulations. Additionally, the agency determined that the previous administration underestimated the cost in the 2016 rule.   

The rule was reviewed as part of Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, and Secretarial Order 3349, American Energy Independence, issued March 29, 2017.  The BLM found that many parts of the 2016 rule were unnecessarily burdensome on the private sector. 

Publication of the final rule in the Federal Register is forthcoming. The rule is effective 60 days after publication. A pre-publication version of the final rule can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xP2qE.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

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