Issue Date: December 17, 2012
States To Sue Over Fracking Standards
Seven northeastern states announced last week that they intend to sue EPA to force the agency to issue Clean Air Act regulations that limit methane emissions from oil and gas hydraulic fracking operations. The states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont—say methane is 25 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide and that EPA should have specifically regulated methane emissions when the agency announced air regulations for drilling operations last April. The regulations require drillers to install equipment to capture emissions of volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants by 2015. Methane, EPA said at the time, would be captured as a side benefit of the other air pollution control equipment, which is already installed at about half of new U.S. wells.
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