[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 115 (Friday, June 16, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27641-27645]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12473]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 60

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0346; FRL-9963-82-OAR]
RIN 2060-AT65


Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, 
Reconstructed, and Modified Sources: Three Month Stay of Certain 
Requirements

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to stay 
for three months certain requirements that are contained within the 
Final Rule titled ``Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for 
New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources,'' published in the Federal 
Register on June 3, 2016 (2016 Rule). On June 5, 2017, the EPA 
published a notice that, in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA), 
the EPA stayed for three initial months the fugitive emissions 
requirements, well site pneumatic pump standards, and requirements for 
certification of closed vent systems by a professional engineer. The 
EPA granted reconsideration after considering specific objections to 
these requirements. In a separate notice published today, the EPA is 
proposing a stay for two years, providing the EPA sufficient time to 
propose, take public comment, and issue a final action on the issues 
concerning the specific requirements on which EPA has granted 
reconsideration. The two-year proposed stay published today, if 
finalized as proposed, would likely be determined to be a major rule 
under the Congressional Review Act and therefore will not take effect 
until sixty days after publication or after Congress receives the rule 
report, whichever is later. Therefore, while the EPA intends to 
complete that rulemaking and take final action before the initial 
three-month stay expires, there may potentially be a gap between the 
two stays due to the sixty-day delay in effectiveness of that action. 
To avoid such a potential gap, and the resulting confusion, in this 
action the EPA is proposing a three-month stay which would not qualify 
as a major rule and could become effective upon publication. The EPA 
prepared an Economic Impact Analysis for this proposal, which is 
available in Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0346. The EPA is seeking comment 
pertaining to this stay and its duration. The EPA is also seeking 
comment on if a four-month stay may be more appropriate to ensure 
continuity of the stay. The EPA is not taking comment at this time on 
substantive issues concerning these requirements, or on any of the 
other provisions subject to the reconsideration.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 17, 2017. If a 
hearing is requested on this proposed rule, written comments must be 
received on or before August 9, 2017.
    Public Hearing. A public hearing will be held, if requested by June 
21, 2017, to accept oral comments on this proposed action. If a hearing 
is requested, it will be held at the EPA's Washington, DC campus 
located at 1201 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The hearing, 
if requested, will begin at 9 a.m. (local time) and will conclude at 4 
p.m. (local time) on July 10, 2017. To request a hearing, to register 
to speak at a hearing, or to inquire if a hearing will be held, please 
contact Aimee St. Clair at (919) 541-1063 or by email at 
stclair.aimee@epa.gov.
    Any updates made to any aspect of the hearing, including whether or 
not a hearing will be held, will be posted

[[Page 27642]]

online at https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/actions-and-notices-about-oil-and-natural-gas#regactions. In addition, you may contact Aimee St. Clair at (919) 
541-1063 or email at stclair.aimee@epa.gov with public hearing 
inquiries. The EPA does not intend to publish a notice in the Federal 
Register announcing any such updates. Please go to https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/actions-and-notices-about-oil-and-natural-gas#regactions for more information on 
the public hearing.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2017-0346, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from 
Regulations.gov. 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Peter Tsirigotis, Sector Policies 
and Programs Division (D205-01), Office of Air Quality Planning and 
Standards, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, 
North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (888) 627-7764; email address: 
airaction@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    On June 3, 2016, the EPA published a final rule titled ``Oil and 
Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and 
Modified Sources; Final Rule,'' at 81 FR 35824 (``2016 Rule''). The 
2016 Rule establishes new source performance standards (NSPS) for 
greenhouse gas emissions and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions 
from the oil and natural gas sector. This rule addresses, among other 
things, fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations 
(``fugitive emissions requirements'') and emissions from pneumatic 
pumps. In addition, for a number of affected facilities (i.e., 
centrifugal compressors, reciprocating compressors, pneumatic pumps, 
and storage vessels), the rule requires certification by a professional 
engineer of the closed vent system design and capacity, as well as any 
technical infeasibility determination relative to controlling pneumatic 
pumps at well sites. For further information on the 2016 Rule, see 81 
FR 35824 (June 3, 2016) and associated Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-
0505.
    On August 2, 2016, a number of interested parties submitted 
administrative petitions to the EPA seeking reconsideration of various 
aspects of the 2016 Rule pursuant to section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA 
(42 U.S.C. 7607(d)(7)(B)).\1\ Those petitions include numerous 
objections relative to the fugitive emissions requirements, well site 
pneumatic pump standards, and the requirements for certification by 
professional engineer.
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    \1\ Copies of these petitions are included in the docket for the 
2016 Rule, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505.
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    In accordance with section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA, the 
Administrator shall convene a reconsideration proceeding if, in the 
Administrator's judgment, the petitioner raises an objection to a rule 
that was impracticable to raise during the comment period or if the 
grounds for the objection arose after the comment period but within the 
period for judicial review, and the objection is of central relevance 
to the outcome of the rule. The Administrator may stay the 
effectiveness of the rule for up to three months during such 
reconsideration.
    In a letter dated April 18, 2017, based on the criteria in CAA 
section 307(d)(7)(B), the Administrator convened a proceeding for 
reconsideration of the following objections relative to the fugitive 
emissions requirements: (1) The process and criteria for requesting and 
receiving approval for the use of an alternative means of emission 
limitations (AMEL) for purposes of compliance with the fugitive 
emissions requirements in the 2016 Rule; and (2) the applicability of 
the fugitive emissions requirements to low production well sites.\2\
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    \2\ See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7730.
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    After issuing the April 18, 2017, letter, in a notice published 
June 5, 2017, the EPA identified objections to two other aspects of the 
2016 Rule that meet the criteria for reconsideration under section 
307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA. These objections relate to (1) the 
requirements for certification of closed vent system by professional 
engineer (``PE certification requirement''); and (2) the well site 
pneumatic pump standards. As part of the administrative reconsideration 
proceeding, the EPA will prepare a notice of proposed rulemaking that 
will provide the petitioners and the public an opportunity to comment 
on the fugitive emissions requirements, well site pneumatic pump 
standards, and the requirements for certification by professional 
engineer, and the issues associated with these requirements.
    In the notice published June 5, 2017, the EPA stayed the fugitive 
emissions requirements, the well site pneumatic pumps requirements, and 
the requirements for certification of closed vent system by 
professional engineer for three months pursuant to section 307(d)(7)(B) 
of the CAA. That initial stay is effective from June 2, 2017, to August 
31, 2017. When we have issued similar stays in the past, it has often 
been our practice to also propose a longer stay through a rulemaking 
process. See, e.g., 74 FR 36427 (July 23, 2009).
    In a separate action published today, the EPA is proposing to stay 
these requirements for two years. This proposed two-year stay will 
provide the EPA with sufficient time to propose, take public comment, 
and issue a final action on the issues concerning the specific 
requirements on which EPA has granted reconsideration. During the two 
year proposed stay, the EPA also plans to complete its reconsideration 
process for all remaining issues raised in these reconsideration 
petitions regarding fugitive emissions, pneumatic pumps, and 
certification by professional engineer requirements. For the reasons 
stated below, in this document the EPA is issuing a proposal to stay 
these requirements for three months. This stay would take effect upon 
the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

II. The Proposed Action

    The two-year proposed stay published today, if finalized as 
proposed, would likely be determined to be a major rule under the 
Congressional Review Act and therefore under section 801 of that Act 
may not take effect until sixty days after publication or after 
Congress receives the rule report, whichever is later.

[[Page 27643]]

    Therefore, while the EPA intends take final action on that 
rulemaking before the initial three-month stay of these requirements 
expires, there could potentially be a gap in the stay due to the sixty-
day delay in the effectiveness of that action. Such a gap would create 
unnecessary burden and confusion as to what regulatory requirements are 
in effect and what regulated entities must do during the 
reconsideration proceeding. Therefore, to avoid such a potential gap, 
in this document the EPA is proposing a three-month stay, which is not 
a major rule under the CRA and could become effective upon publication. 
The EPA intends to publish the final rule on or before the expiration 
of the initial three-month stay.
    Note that we are not taking comment at this time on substantive 
issues concerning these requirements, or on any of the other provisions 
subject to the reconsideration. This notice simply proposes to stay the 
specified requirements for three months. The EPA is seeking comment 
pertaining to this stay and its duration. Given the importance of not 
introducing a gap in the stay, the EPA is also requesting comment on 
whether a four-month stay may be appropriate. A separate Federal 
Register notice published in the near future will specifically solicit 
comment on substantive issues concerning these requirements.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders 
can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is a significant regulatory action that was submitted 
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review because it 
raises novel legal or policy issues. Any changes made in response to 
OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection 
activities contained in the existing 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOO and 
has assigned OMB control number 2060-0673. The information collection 
requirements in the final 40 CFR 60, subpart OOOOa have been submitted 
for approval to the OMB under the PRA. The Information Collection 
Request (ICR) document prepared by EPA has been assigned EPA ICR 
2523.01. This action does not result in changes to the approved ICR for 
subpart OOOO or the submitted ICR for subpart OOOOa, so the information 
collection estimates of project cost and hour burdens have not been 
revised.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In 
making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant 
adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no 
net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small 
entities subject to the rule. This action proposes a limited stay for 
certain requirements. This proposed stay will not increase the burden 
on small entities subject to this rule. The EPA prepared a final RFA 
analysis for the 2016 Rule, which is available as part of the 
Regulatory Impact Analysis in the docket at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2010-0505-7630. We have therefore concluded that this action will have 
no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in 
UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on 
tribal governments, on the relationship between the federal government 
and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the federal government and Indian tribes, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to 
this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is a 
significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866, and 
the EPA believes that the environmental health or safety risk addressed 
by this action may have a disproportionate effect on children. Because 
this action merely proposes to delay action and does not change the 
requirements of the final rule, this action will not change any impacts 
of the rule when it is fully implemented. Any impacts on children's 
health caused by the delay in the rule will be limited, because the 
length of the proposed stay is limited. The agency therefore believes 
it is more appropriate to consider the impact on children's health in 
the context of any substantive changes proposed as part of 
reconsideration.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' because it is 
not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution or use of energy. The basis for this determination can be 
found in the 2016 Rule (81 FR 35894).

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    Because this action merely proposes to delay action and does not 
change the requirements of the final rule, this action will not change 
any impacts of the rule when it is fully implemented. Any impacts on 
minority populations and low-income populations caused by the delay in 
the rule will be limited, because the length of the proposed stay is 
limited. The agency therefore believes it is more appropriate to 
consider the impact on minority populations and low-income populations 
in the context of any substantive changes proposed as part of 
reconsideration.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 60

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Reporting and recordkeeping.


[[Page 27644]]


    Dated: June 12, 2017.
E. Scott Pruitt,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 40, chapter I of the 
Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 60--STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE FOR NEW STATIONARY SOURCES

0
1. The authority citation for part 60 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart OOOOa--[AMENDED]

0
2. Section 60.5393a is amended by:
0
a. Staying paragraphs (b) and (c) from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL 
RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register]; and
    b. Adding paragraph (f).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  60.5393a  What GHG and VOC standards apply to pneumatic pump 
affected facilities?

* * * * *
    (f) Pneumatic pumps at a well site are not subject to the 
requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section from [DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS 
AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register].


Sec.  60.5397a  [AMENDED]

    3. Section 60.5397a is stayed from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL 
RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register].
    4. Section 60.5410a is amended by:
    a. Staying paragraphs (e)(2) through (5) from [DATE OF PUBLICATION 
OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE 
OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register];
    b. Adding paragraph (e)(8); and
    c. Staying paragraph (j) from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN 
THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF 
FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register].
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  60.5410a  How do I demonstrate initial compliance with the 
standards for my well, centrifugal compressor, reciprocating 
compressor, pneumatic controller, pneumatic pump, storage vessel, 
collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site, collection 
of fugitive emissions components at a compressor station, and equipment 
leaks and sweetening unit affected facilities at onshore natural gas 
processing plants?

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (8) Pneumatic pump affected facilities at a well are not subject to 
the requirements of paragraphs (e)(6) and (7) of this section from 
[DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 
90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal 
Register].
* * * * *
0
5. Section 60.5411a is amended by:
0
a. Revising the introductory text;
0
b. Staying paragraph (d) from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE 
Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF 
FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register]; and
0
c. Adding paragraph (e).
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  60.5411a  What additional requirements must I meet to determine 
initial compliance for my covers and closed vent systems routing 
emissions from centrifugal compressor wet seal fluid degassing systems, 
reciprocating compressors, pneumatic pumps and storage vessels?

    You must meet the applicable requirements of this section for each 
cover and closed vent system used to comply with the emission standards 
for your centrifugal compressor wet seal degassing systems, 
reciprocating compressors, pneumatic pumps and storage vessels except 
as provided in paragraph (e) of this section.
* * * * *
    (e) Pneumatic pump affected facilities at a well site are not 
subject to the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section from [DATE 
OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 
DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register].
    6. Section 60.5415a is amended by:
    a. Revising paragraph (b) introductory text and adding paragraph 
(b)(4); and
    b. Staying paragraph (h) from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN 
THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF 
FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register].
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  60.5415a  How do I demonstrate continuous compliance with the 
standards for my well, centrifugal compressor, reciprocating 
compressor, pneumatic controller, pneumatic pump, storage vessel, 
collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site, and 
collection of fugitive emissions components at a compressor station 
affected facilities, and affected facilities at onshore natural gas 
processing plants?

* * * * *
    (b) For each centrifugal compressor affected facility and each 
pneumatic pump affected facility, you must demonstrate continuous 
compliance according to paragraph (b)(3) of this section except as 
provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section. For each centrifugal 
compressor affected facility, you also must demonstrate continuous 
compliance according to paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.
* * * * *
    (4) Pneumatic pump affected facilities at a well site are not 
subject to the requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section from 
[DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 
90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal 
Register].
* * * * *
    7. Section 60.5416a is amended by revising the introductory text 
and adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  60.5416a  What are the initial and continuous cover and closed 
vent system inspection and monitoring requirements for my centrifugal 
compressor, reciprocating compressor, pneumatic pump, and storage 
vessel affected facilities?

    For each closed vent system or cover at your storage vessel, 
centrifugal compressor, reciprocating compressor and pneumatic pump 
affected facilities, you must comply with the applicable requirements 
of paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section, except as provided in 
paragraph (d) of this section.
* * * * *
    (d) Pneumatic pump affected facilities at a well site are not 
subject to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section 
from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until 
[DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal 
Register].
    8. Section 60.5420a is amended by:
    a. Revising paragraph (b) introductory text;
    b. Staying paragraphs (b)(7), (8), and (12) from [DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS 
AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register];

[[Page 27645]]

    c. Adding paragraph (b)(13); and
    d. Staying paragraphs (c)(15) through (17) from [DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS 
AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register].
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  60.5420a  What are my notification, reporting, and recordkeeping 
requirements?

* * * * *
    (b) Reporting requirements. You must submit annual reports 
containing the information specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (8) 
and (12) of this section and performance test reports as specified in 
paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section, if applicable, except as 
provided in paragraph (b)(13) of this section. You must submit annual 
reports following the procedure specified in paragraph (b)(11) of this 
section. The initial annual report is due no later than 90 days after 
the end of the initial compliance period as determined according to 
Sec.  60.5410a. Subsequent annual reports are due no later than same 
date each year as the initial annual report. If you own or operate more 
than one affected facility, you may submit one report for multiple 
affected facilities provided the report contains all of the information 
required as specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (8) of this section, 
except as provided in paragraph (b)(13) of this section. Annual reports 
may coincide with title V reports as long as all the required elements 
of the annual report are included. You may arrange with the 
Administrator a common schedule on which reports required by this part 
may be submitted as long as the schedule does not extend the reporting 
period.
* * * * *
    (13) The collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site 
(as defined in Sec.  60.5430a), the collection of fugitive emissions 
components at a compressor station (as defined in Sec.  60.5430a), and 
pneumatic pump affected facilities at a well site (as defined in Sec.  
60.5365a(h)(2)) are not subject to the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) 
of this section from [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE Federal 
Register] until [DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE 
IN THE Federal Register].
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2017-12473 Filed 6-15-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P