March 2, 2017
Effective immediately, the EPA has dismissed and withdrawn the Oil and Gas Information Collection Request (ICR) program. As of March 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations. 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.
The following is from the EPA’s Press Release
At this time, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt would like to assess the need for the information that the agency was collecting through these requests. This action also comes after the agency received a letter on March 1, 2017, 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.
“By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” said EPA Administrator Pruitt. “Today’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”
Under the previous administration, the ICR program was founded with the goal of determining how to best reduce methane and other harmful emissions from existing sources in the large and complex oil and natural gas industry. 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.