In April of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), passed new air quality standards. This causes oil and gas companies to capture climate-altering gases and toxic gases from storage sites, pipelines, and wells. This is the first federal effort to reduce the problem with air pollution associated with hydraulic fracturing. This is also known as the natural gas drilling process which releases cancer-causing chemicals and methane. Citizen began complaining over a year ago about the gases that were escaping caused health problems. This rule is expected to reduce the emissions of volatile organic compounds around 200,000 tons per year and reduce the toxic air pollutants by about 15,00 tons per year. “The EPA estimates that capturing methane from thousands of new wells will reduce greenhouse emissions by the equivalent of 28 million to 44 million tons a year, making the rule of the federal government’s largest measures to mitigate climate change.” Many industry group were supportive of this. However, some like the Western Energy Alliance say that its costs outweigh its benefits.
Topic 10: Air Pollution