“In response to a court deadline…”

“In response to a court deadline,” the EPA yesterday finalized the long-awaited (and long-dreaded, by some) rules that aim to reduce air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry, including setting “the first federal air standards” for natural gas wells that are hydraulic fractured. According to the EPA, these rules are expected “to yield a nearly 95 percent reduction in [volatile organic compound] emissions from more than 11,000 new hydraulically fractured gas wells each year.”

Back in August of 2011, when we covered the release of the proposed rules, the EPA was supposed to finalize the rules by February 28, 2012. However, prompted by the outpouring of public comments on the release – including requests to extend the comment period – the litigants agreed to a 35-day extension, pushing out the deadline to April 3, 2012 (um…a few weeks ago, by my count).

Plaintiff WildEarth Guardians was understandably pleased at the news.

More analysis of the new rules can be found on The Hill’s Energy & Environment Blog.

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