On April 17, 2012, EPA issued new regulations under the Clean Air Act to reduce air emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. The final rule included the first federal air standards for natural gas wells that are hydraulically fractured. Key provisions in the rule call for “green completions” or reduced emission completions (RECs). Many of the new requirements in the rule become effective in January 2015; however, the pre-notification requirements of the rule go into effect on October 15, 2012.
The pre-notification requirements include sending an email to EPA no later than 2 days prior to completion following the hydraulic fracturing or refracturing of a gas well. The notification must include geographic coordinates of the affected wells and the estimated date that well completion will begin. According to the Agency, well owners and operators who are subject to state advance notice requirements for well completions can meet EPA’s requirements by meeting the state notification requirements.