BLM Publishes Proposed Revisions to the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its proposed revisions to the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. The original rule, published in 2016, aimed to reduce methane venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and gas production on public lands. Among other things, the rule required producers eliminate venting at oil and gas wells (subject to limited exceptions), imposed limits on flaring, and established stringent leak detection and repair requirements.

After reviewing the 2016 rule, BLM is concerned that it may unnecessarily burden domestic energy production, and thus “is inconsistent with the policy in . . . E.O. 13783.” BLM is proposing to rescind several provisions of the 2016 rules, including those governing leak detection and repair. Other provisions, including those dealing with venting and flaring, would be substantially revised.

Comments on the proposal are due by April 23, 2018.