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Oil & Gas

Pennsylvania DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas Management is responsible for the statewide oil and gas conservation and environmental programs to facilitate the safe exploration, development, recovery of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas reservoirs in a manner that will protect the commonwealth’s natural resources and the environment.

The office develops policy and programs for the regulation of oil and gas development and production pursuant to the Oil and Gas Act, the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, and the Oil and Gas Conservation Law; oversees the oil and gas permitting and inspection programs; develops statewide regulation and standards; conducts training programs for industry; and works with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Technical Advisory Board.

Understanding Annual Reporting Obligations for VOC Rules in Oil & Natural Gas Sources

On December 10, 2022, Pennsylvania introduced regulations regarding the control of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions from both unconventional and conventional oil and natural gas sources. These regulations, detailed in 25 Pa. Code §§ 129.121-130 and 25 Pa. Code §§ 129.131-140, require businesses to submit annual reports containing specific compliance information.

When is the Report Due?

The initial annual report submission was due on December 10, 2023; however, DEP suspended enforcement of the initial annual report submission until June 1, 2024.  Thus, the deadline for the first annual report is now June 1, 2024. Learn more about the enforcement suspension in Volume 54 Number 4 of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

How to Report:

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has created Excel spreadsheet templates to make reporting easier for owners and operators. These templates are available for Unconventional Oil & Gas and Conventional Oil & Gas sources. They break down reporting requirements into manageable sections. While using the template is optional, it is designed to help your small business comply with the regulations. If you prefer not to use the template, DEP is requesting that you still submit your report in Excel format.

How to Submit:

When you’re ready to submit your annual report, use DEP’s Public Upload System. Ensure your report is in spreadsheet format, preferably Excel. Choose “Air Quality Report or Miscellaneous Submission (No Payment)” as your submission type and “Other” as the request type. Specify the County and Municipality for each site covered by the Annual Report. Lastly, include either “129.130 Annual Report” or “129.140 Annual Report” in the Submission Notes Section.

Additional Resources:

Visit DEP’s website for Annual Reporting for the VOC Rules for Oil & Gas Sources.  For additional guidance on the submission process, refer to the public upload guide (PDF) provided by DEP.

Control of VOC Emissions from Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources

Effective December 2, 2022, an emergency rulemaking added Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements and RACT emission limitations for conventional oil and natural gas sources of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Sources affected by this final rulemaking (found in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 129 Sections 129.131129.140) include:

  • natural gas-driven continuous bleed pneumatic controller
  • natural gas-driven diaphragm pumps
  • reciprocating compressors
  • centrifugal compressors
  • fugitive emissions components and storage vessels installed at conventional well sites gathering and boosting stations and natural gas processing plants
  • storage vessels in the natural gas transmission and storage segment.

EPA’s Final Rule for Oil and Natural Gas Operations

On December 2nd, 2023, EPA issued a final rule to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations nationwide. This action includes New Source Performance Standards for new, modified, & reconstructed sources and includes Emission Guidelines for states to develop plans to limit methane from existing sources.

Rule Features Worth Noting

The rule allows for third-parties, who will be certified by EPA, to report “super emitter” events, or methane release events. Once the reports are received, EPA will perform QA/QC on the data.

In addition, the rule recognizes and encourages innovation in methane detection technologies including satellite monitoring, aerial surveys, and continuous monitors to find leaks. EPA noted that many of these technologies are often developed and deployed by small businesses.

(877) ASK-EMAP

Call us toll-free to speak to an EMAP consultant about your environmental compliance questions.  All EMAP services are confidential.

Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.