Owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry no longer need to provide the EPA with information about equipment and emissions at their operations, after the agency officially withdrew its request for it earlier this month.
The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators – including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information – are no longer required to respond.
According to a statement issued by the EPA, Administrator Scott Pruitt “would like to assess the need for the information that the agency was collecting through these requests.”
Pruitt said the action “will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”
The withdrawal comes one day after the agency received a letter from nine state Attorneys General and the Governors of Mississippi and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending Information Collection Request for Oil and Gas Facilities.
Under the previous administration, EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information. The information request comprised of two parts: an “operator survey” that asked for basic information on the numbers and types of equipment at all onshore oil and gas production facilities in the U.S., and a “facility survey” asking for more detailed information on sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices in use by a representative sampling of facilities in several segments of the oil and gas industry. EPA is withdrawing both parts of the information request.