The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a final rule adding natural gas processing (“NGP”) facilities to the scope of industrial sectors covered by the reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”).
NGP facilities are also commonly denominated natural gas liquid extraction facilities.
EPCRA was enacted in 1986 and imposes requirements for certain industries to report on the storage, use and release of hazardous substances. Such information is provided to federal, state and local governments. The intent is to help communities plan for chemical emergencies.
A key provision is the Toxics Release Inventory (“TRI”) which requires facilities to annually complete and submit a TRI “Form R”. Form R must be submitted for each of the over 600 TRI chemicals that are manufactured or otherwise used above the applicable threshold quantities.
Data reported by facilities on the Form R include:
- Energy recovery
- Environmental releases
EPA states that the final rule applies to facilities primarily engaged in the recovery of liquid hydrocarbons from oil and gas field gases and which manufacture, process, or otherwise use chemicals listed at 40 C.F.R. 372.65 and meet the reporting requirements of EPCRA Section 313. The applicable Standard Industrial Classification Code is 1321.
The federal agency’s stated rationale for adding NGP to the Section 313 list is to increase the information available to the public on releases and other waste management of listed chemicals from this sector. It states there are approximately 1.4 million people living within three miles of at least one NGP facility.
An estimated 282 NGP facilities in the United States meet the TRI employee threshold of 10 full-time employees or equivalent and manufacture, process, or otherwise use at least one TRI-listed chemical in excess of applicable threshold quantities.
NGP facilities in the United States are stated to manufacture, process, or otherwise use at least 21 different TRI-listed chemicals. These include:
- Hydrogen Sulfide
A copy of the prepublication Federal Register Notice can be downloaded here.
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