[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 181 (Friday, September 18, 2015)]
[Pages 56577-56578]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21027]

Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 181 / Friday, September 18, 2015 / 

[[Page 56577]]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0216; FRL-9932-42-OAR]
RIN 2060-ZA22

Release of Draft Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and 
Natural Gas Industry

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the 
availability of a draft Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document 
for select oil and natural gas industry emission sources. This 
document, when finalized, will provide state, local, and tribal air 
agencies (air agencies) information to assist them in determining 
reasonably available control technology (RACT) for volatile organic 
compound (VOC) emissions from such sources.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES: The draft Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and 
Natural Gas Industry is available primarily via the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/index.html.
    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-
0216, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, 
comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment 
received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any 
information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) 
or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. 
Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a 
written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment 
and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA 
will generally not consider comments or comment contents located 
outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other 
file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA 
public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, 
and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.
    Instructions. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2015-0216. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be 
included in the public docket without change and may be made available 
online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed 
to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information 
that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site 
is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means the EPA will not know 
your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body 
of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA 
without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address 
will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that 
is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If 
you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include 
your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and 
with any CD you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the 
EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should 
avoid the use of special characters, avoid any form of encryption and 
be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the 
EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. For additional instructions on 
submitting comments, go to section I.A of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of this document.
    Docket. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 
1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is 
open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding 
legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is 
(202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 

Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and 
Standards, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-05), Research 
Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number:(919) 541- 5255; fax 
number:(919) 541-3470; email:[email protected].


I. General Information

A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments?

    Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to the EPA through 
http://www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of 
the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a CD 
that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the CD as CBI and then 
identify electronically within the CD the specific information that is 
claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that 
includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does 
not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for 
inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 
2. Send or deliver information identified as CBI only to the following 
address: Tiffany Purifoy, OAQPS Document Control Officer (C404-02), 
U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, Attention Docket ID No. 

II. Information About the Document

    Section 172(c)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) provides that State 
Implementation Plans (SIPs) for nonattainment areas must include 
``reasonably available control measures'', including ``reasonably 
available control technology'' (RACT), for existing sources of 
emissions. Section 182(b)(2)(A)of the CAA requires that for Moderate 
ozone nonattainment areas, states must revise their SIPs to include 
RACT for each category of VOC sources covered by a CTG document issued 
between November 15, 1990, and the date of attainment. CAA section 
182(c) through (e) applies this requirement to States with ozone 
nonattainment areas classified as Serious, Severe and Extreme.
    The CAA also imposes the same requirement on States in ozone 
transport regions (OTR). Specifically, CAA Section 184(b) provides that 
states in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR)

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must revise their SIPs to implement RACT with respect to all sources of 
VOCs in the state covered by a CTG issued before or after November 15, 
1990. CAA section 184(a) establishes a single OTR comprised of 
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the 
Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) that includes the 
District of Columbia.
    The EPA defines RACT as ``the lowest emission limitation that a 
particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control 
technology that is reasonably available considering technological and 
economic feasibility'' (44 FR 53761, September 17, 1979). The EPA is 
developing this CTG to provide air agencies information to assist them 
in determining RACT for VOC from select oil and natural gas emission 
sources. In developing the CTG, the EPA, among other things, evaluated 
the sources of VOC emissions from the oil and natural gas industry and 
the available control approaches for addressing these emissions, 
including the costs of such approaches. Based on available information 
and data, the EPA is providing draft recommendations for RACT for 
select oil and natural gas industry emission sources. The VOC RACT 
recommendations contained in this draft CTG were made based on a review 
of the 1983 CTG, the oil and natural gas NSPS, existing state and local 
VOC emission reduction approaches, and information on costs, emissions 
and available emission control technologies obtained since issuance of 
these guidelines and rules. For instance, the EPA released for external 
peer review five technical white papers on potentially significant 
sources of emissions in the oil and gas sector. We considered 
information included in the white papers, along with the input we 
received from the peer reviewers and the public, when evaluating and 
recommending a RACT level of control for emission sources. Upon 
finalization of the CTG, air agencies can use the recommendations in 
the CTG to inform their determinations as to what constitutes RACT for 
VOC for these oil and natural gas industry emission sources in their 
particular areas. The information contained in the CTG is provided only 
as guidance. This guidance does not change, or substitute for, 
requirements specified in applicable sections of the CAA or the EPA's 
regulations; nor is it a regulation itself. The CTG does not impose any 
legally binding requirements on any entity. It provides only 
recommendations for air agencies to consider in determining RACT. Air 
agencies are free to implement other technically-sound approaches that 
are consistent with the CAA and the EPA's regulations.
    The recommendations contained in the CTG are based on data and 
information currently available to the EPA. These general 
recommendations may not apply in all situations. Regardless of whether 
a state chooses to implement the recommendations contained in a CTG 
through state rules, or to issue state rules that adopt different 
approaches for RACT for VOC from oil and natural gas industry emission 
sources, states must submit their RACT rules to the EPA for review and 
approval as part of the SIP process. The EPA will evaluate the rules 
and determine, through notice and comment rulemaking in the SIP review 
process, whether the submitted rules meet the RACT requirements of the 
CAA and the EPA's regulations. To the extent a state adopts any of the 
recommendations in this CTG, upon its finalization, into its state RACT 
rules, interested parties can raise questions and objections about the 
substance of this guidance and the appropriateness of the application 
of this guidance to a particular situation during the development of 
the state rules and the EPA's SIP review process.
    Section 182(b)(2) of the CAA requires that a CTG issued between 
November 15, 1990, and the date of attainment provide the period for 
submitting SIP revisions in response to such CTG. In the draft CTG, the 
EPA is providing a two-year period, from the date of final issuance, 
for the required submittal.
    The Tribal Authority Rule (63 FR 7254, February 12, 1998) (TAR) 
identifies CAA provisions for which it is appropriate to treat Indian 
tribes in the same manner as states (TAS). Pursuant to the TAR, tribes 
may apply for TAS for purposes of CAA section 110 and Part D planning 
requirements in CAA section 172. As a result, tribes may, but are not 
required to, apply for TAS for the purpose a developing a tribal 
implementation plan (TIP) addressing RACT for sources located in a 
Moderate (or higher) nonattainment area for ozone within the tribe's 
jurisdiction. If the EPA grants that status and approves the TIP, the 
tribe would implement RACT in Moderate (or higher) ozone nonattainment 
areas within the geographic scope of the TAS designation. If a tribe 
does not seek and obtain the authority from the EPA to establish a 
plan, the EPA will be responsible for establishing CAA section 110 and 
172 plans for reservations and trust lands if the EPA determines that 
such a plan is necessary or appropriate to protect air quality in such 

III. Specific Comments Solicited

    In addition to providing an opportunity to review and comment on 
the draft CTG, the EPA is also soliciting specific comment on the 
    1. Information on costs associated with retrofitting an existing 
storage vessel to allow routing of emissions to a control device.
    2. Information on the implementation of a monitoring plan that 
includes the use of optical gas imaging for fugitive emissions at 
existing well sites.
    3. Interaction of the CTG with new builds in areas affected by the 
CTG. Refer to materials in the docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0216).
    4. The appropriateness of a daily average of 15 barrel equivalents 
as a representative threshold to define low production wells for 
purposes of requiring a fugitive emissions program and information on 
fugitive air emissions associated with low production wells.

    Dated: August 18, 2015.
Gina McCarthy,
[FR Doc. 2015-21027 Filed 9-17-15; 8:45 am]