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EPA proposes delaying methane leak detection rule

The Alyeska oil pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. This is on S.R. 4, south of Delta Junction. It's on a fault line, so this stretch is built to withstand a substantial earthquake -- the pipe can move several feet in any direction without breaking. Image courtesy of Malcolm Manners, via Wikimedia Commons
The Alyeska oil pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. This is on S.R. 4, south of Delta Junction. It's on a fault line, so this stretch is built to withstand a substantial earthquake -- the pipe can move several feet in any direction without breaking. Image courtesy of Malcolm Manners, via Wikimedia Commons

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a two year pause on an oil and gas pollution rule created by the Obama administration.

In May 2016, the Obama administration finalised new rules designed to cut methane pollution, a greenhouse gas significantly more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.

Affecting both drilling as well as oil and gas pipelines, the new regulations would require oil and gas companies to capture methane emissions, acquire engineering certifications for equipment and verifications for their staff, and install leak detection equipment.

On 31 May this year, a 90-day administrative stay was announced on the implementation of the new rules. Now the EPA is suggesting extending that stay to two years.

In a press release, the EPA said: “Under the proposal, sources would not need to comply with these requirements while the stay is in effect.”

The Alyeska oil pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. This is on S.R. 4, south of Delta Junction. It's on a fault line, so this stretch is built to withstand a substantial earthquake -- the pipe can move several feet in any direction without breaking. Image courtesy of Malcolm Manners, via Wikimedia Commons