BLM Repeals Key Provisions of Methane Waste Prevention Rule
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized changes to its so-called Methane Waste Prevention Rule (“Rule”). The rule, which was adopted in November 2016, aimed to prevent the loss of natural gas through venting, flaring, and leaks on public lands. BLM estimated that, as a result of the rule, oil and natural gas producers operating on public lands would capture an additional 41 billion cubic feet of gas each year, enough to supply approximately 740,000 households. The Rule would also reduce methane emissions by up to 180,000 tons per year.
Despite these benefits, BLM has announced that it will repeal key provisions of the Rule and reinstate pre-2016 regulations (known as “NTL-4A”), which were first developed in the 1970s.