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Natural Gas Plants Face New Reporting Rules

by Elizabeth Alford on October 28, 2015

Natural gas processing facilities will soon be required to provide new, annual reporting to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Related: Fracking Ban Blocked by Federal Court

The EPA decided this week to add natural gas processing facilities to the list of entities that must report annually to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The Toxic Release Inventory requires companies to disclose if they certain toxic chemicals to land, water, and air. Facilities must also provide any waste management and pollution prevention information.

A coalition of environmental groups had sued the agency, petitioning them to require the entire oil and gas sector to comply with the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act passed in 2986. But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said that individual well-drilling sites are not likely to meet the criteria for reporting, so the agency didn’t feel it made sense to require the entire industry to report.

According to the Texas Tribune:”EPA estimates that natural gas processing facilities manufacture, process, or otherwise use more than 25 different TRI-listed chemicals, including hydrogen sulfide, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. Additionally, EPA estimates that approximately 42 million people, 48 percent of whom are minorities and 14 percent of whom live below the poverty line, reside within 49 kilometers (approximately 30 miles) of at least one natural gas processing plant.”

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