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Proposed Methane and Waste Prevention Rule

The U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing to update regulations in order to reduce the wasteful release of natural gas into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations on public and American Indian lands. The proposed rule on venting, flaring and leaking will help curb waste of our nation’s natural gas supplies, reduce harmful methane emissions and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, Tribes, and States.

The proposed rule would require oil and gas producers to adopt currently available technologies, processes and equipment that would limit the rate of flaring at oil wells on public and tribal lands, and would require operators to periodically inspect their operations for leaks, and to replace outdated equipment that vents large quantities of gas into the air. Operators would also be required to limit venting from storage tanks and use best practices to limit gas losses when removing liquids from wells. The new measures would also clarify when operators owe royalties on flared gas, and ensure that BLM’s regulations provide congressionally authorized flexibility to set royalty rates at or above 12.5 percent of the value of production.

The BLM released the proposed Methane and Waste Prevention rule on January 22, 2016, and it was published in the Federal Register on February 8, 2016. On March 22, the BLM extended the public comment period on the proposed rule until April 22, 2016. You can view comments at regulations.gov.

Related Documents: Proposed Rule | Regulatory Impact Assessment | Environmental Assessment | Fact Sheet

Public events, as scheduled, are found below:


Upcoming Forums on Proposed Methane and Waste Prevention Rule

The BLM will host a series of public meetings on a Proposed Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.

Individuals wishing to speak during the general public meetings should indicate that when they sign in onsite. The BLM will accommodate as many speakers as possible on a first-come, first-serve basis as time and facilities permit. The sign-in will begin at 12 noon local time and end at 1:00 p.m. local time, when the general public meetings begin.

A news release announcing the proposed rule was distributed January 22, 2016. The proposed rule, subject to minor, unsubstantive editorial changes from the Federal Register, may be found here, along with the Regulatory Impact Analysis and Environmental Analysis. The rule includes information on how to comment. A fact sheet also is available.

To access the audio portion of the tribal meetings, please call 1-877-917-3404 and enter the passcode 2105612#.

To access the audio portion of the general public meetings, please call 1-888-469-3312 and enter the passcode 2011952#.

The BLM will also broadcast the March 1 general public forum via livestream at www.blm.gov/live.

Public Meeting Schedule (all times local)

Date: February 16, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: San Juan College, Room 7103,
4601 College Blvd.,
Farmington, NM 87402

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

Date: February 18, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel
10 North Broadway Ave.,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

Date: March 1, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Holiday Inn Denver Lakewood,
7390 West Hampden,
Lakewood, CO 80227

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

Date: March 3, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Astoria Hotel and Event Center
363 15th Street W.
Dickinson, ND 58601

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

To access the audio portion of any of these meetings, please call 1-888-469-3312 and enter the passcode 2011952#. Participants will be asked to state their names prior to joining the meeting.

Please RSVP no later than February 10 for February 16 and 18 meetings and February 24 for March 1 and 3 meetings to blm_wo_og_comments@blm.gov and specify which meeting you will be attending. There is no need to RSVP for the audio-only option.

In 2014, four separate forums were held concerning Indian trust lands.The BLM is considering various options for addressing venting and flaring of gas and the loss of gas through fugitive emissions from onshore Federal and Indian oil and gas operations. This includes preventing the waste of hydrocarbons, while promoting conservation of produced oil and gas, and to also ensure a fair return to the American taxpayer.

Below are materials from these forums:
Click here to view written comments that were submitted to the BLM on this topic.

 

MATERIALS FROM FORUMS
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 (Denver)

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 (Albuquerque, NM)

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

Friday, May 9, 2014 (Dickinson, ND)

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)

Thursday, May 15, 2014 (Washington, DC)

Morning (Tribes)

Afternoon (General Public)