EPA proposes adding gas processors to Toxic Releases Inventory rule

The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding natural gas processing facilities, including those that extract gas liquids, to reporting requirements under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), commonly known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The requirements also would come under Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act, EPA said in a Jan. 6 Federal Register notice.

A committee at the GPA Midstream Association is reviewing the proposed rule and considering options for commenting, a spokesman for the Tulsa trade association previously known as the Gas Processors Association told OGJ.

Comments will be accepted through Mar. 7, EPA said. “Adding these facilities would meaningfully increase the information available to the public on releases and other waste management of listed chemicals from the natural gas processing sector and further the purposes of EPCRA Section 313,” it indicated.

The federal environmental regulator said an estimated 265 gas processing plants would meet the TRI employee threshold (10 full-time employees or the equivalent) and manufacture, process, or otherwise use (threshold activities) at least one TRI-listed chemical above applicable threshold quantities.

Gas processing facilities in the US manufacture, process, or otherwise use more than 21 different TRI-listed chemicals, including n-hexane, hydrogen sulfide, toluene, benzene, xylene, and methanol, the notice said. EPA expects that TRI reporting by US gas processors would provide significant release and waste management data on these chemicals to the public, it said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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