Oil and Natural Gas; New Source Performance Standards and New Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (2012)

Last updated: 21 February 2022

Indirectly regulates methane from the upstream oil and natural gas sector, by regulating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and benzene/toleune/ethylene/xylene (BTEX) compounds from natural gas wells through natural gas processing plants.


Effective 15 October 2012:


Requires "green completions" at new natural gas wells (i.e., routing of gas to a flare). 40 CFR 60.5375.


Requires 95% reduction in emissions from new (as of 23 August 2011) wet seal centrifugal compressors, and more regular replacement of rod packing on new (as of 23 August 2011) reciprocating compressors.


Requires LDAR at gas processing plants, with repair of all leaks over 500 ppm. Appears to require monthly inspections (incorporates by reference an older leak detection regime).


Sets BTEX emissions limits for glycol dehydrators in production, and transmission/storage. Requires flares or use of vapour recovery systems.


Effective 15 October 2013:


Requires hydrocarbon storage vessels that emit at least 6 tons per year of VOCs to reduce their emissions 95%, through vapour recovery or otherwise. 40 CFR 60.5395.


Limits the bleed rate of continuous bleed, natural-gas driven pneumatic controllers at gas processing plants to 6 standard cubic feet per hour (scfh). 40 C.F.R. 60.5390


Includes reporting and recordkeeping requirements as well as civil penalties for failure to comply.


NOTE: The Trump Administration proposed amendments to these regulations in 2020 that would have excluded transmission and storage facilities from its application and made other regulatory changes. In July 2021, President Biden signed into law a joint resolution disapproving the 2020 final rule. Thus, this rule remains in force.

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more