Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of federal methane regulations can be complex and daunting. With our commitment to clarity and integrity, we have written this website section to help you navigate the shifting regulatory environment. As members of the Methane Roundtable and early applicants for EPA Alternative Test Method approval, LongPath Technologies offers cutting-edge methane monitoring and reporting solutions aligned with the latest EPA standards.

Federal methane regulations


Federal methane regulation in the oil and gas sector continues to hurtle forward. Our goal is to help you make sense of the changes and, as part of our membership with the Methane Roundtable, we will keep this page updated as regulations take shape. LongPath has also initiated Day One submission for EPA Alternative Test Method approval.

Three key EPA regulations are moving forward this year: updates to the standards ofperformance and LDAR requirements for methane, updates to the subpart W greenhouse gas reporting requirements, and the waste emissions charge. Take a deeper dive into all three rules in our comprehensive regulatory guide found here, or read on for a high-level overview of all three programs.

EPA’s methane rule

OOOOb – In the new OOOOb rules, EPA will require quarterly OGI on most sites. Importantly for operators using advanced tech, however, EPA will allow operators to replace all OGI and AVO requirements with qualifying technologies. The application period opens in early May. Following approval as an Alternative Test Method, LongPath will  continue offering real-time advanced screening and quantification while also checking off the OOOOb regulatory requirements. Operators will be able to leverage substantial savings on time and operations costs to avoid scheduled OGI and AVO sweeps across their asset base, while also gaining critical protections from flyovers and super emitter alarms as part of the new rule's Super Emitter

In the Super Emitter Program under the new rule, EPA will deputize qualified third parties to perform flyovers and look for fugitive emissions and compliance violations and deviations. Never before has continuous monitoring of your assets been more important to bolster your operations with real-time data to catch issues as soon as they start and provide accurate response data for flyover reports.

OOOOc – states will have a few years to propose and finalize performance standards for older assets (OOOOb covers assets modified post-December 2022, whereas OOOOc covers all older assets). The critical point to remember is that the OOOOc standards for existing facilities can be no less stringent than the OOOOb requirements for new sources with respect to OGI and AVO monitoring with advanced tech alternatives.

The EPA methane rule language was finalized in December 2023 and published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2024. The effective date of the rule is May 7, 2024. Below, two charts map how LongPath can be used for continuous or periodic screening under the EPA's new rules. Our system's highly adaptable nature means that the same measurements can be used for both EPA compliance purposes as well as ongoing operations monitoring for emissions detection and quantification.

Updates to subpart W reporting requirements

In a significant change from the previous regulatory framework, the EPA will now link emissions findings under the methane rule to greenhouse reporting under the subpart W requirements. By adding a new category called "Other Large Release Events," EPA seeks to close the persistent gap that has existed between reported emissions and emissions estimated from basin-wide flyovers. Continuous monitoring
again becomes a critical part of any operator's SCADA toolset under this rule, as the duration of any emission finding will default to 6 months unless there is monitoring to confirm the true start date of an "Other Large Release Event."

Valid quantification of fugitive emissions will drastically reduce fees for those operators who can accurately measure the duration and intermittency of emissions events and find them before third-party flyovers.

The proposed subpart W changes were released and underwent public comment in the late Summer of 2023. The final language is expected to be released in mid-2024. LongPath and other stakeholders continue to urge the EPA to include total top-down measurements (such as those that can be obtained with LongPath or aerial survey monitoring) as a method to correct for inconsistencies with bottom-up data – we urge our partners and collaborators to do the same!

The new Waste Emissions Charge (WEC)

The WEC is a new rule coming out of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 updates to the Clean Air Act. Combined with the subpart W updates, this rule takes operators one step closer to using measurement-informed inventories to calculate the overall methane intensity of operations. Under the WEC, operators must sum net emissions from operations across different basins and sectors of the supply chain and compare subpart W-calculated emissions to production and throughput values to ascertain that percentage losses remain below key thresholds. For areas of operations that exceed the methane intensity threshold, fees will be paid on incremental tons above the threshold. Similar to the other rules, operators who leverage continuous monitoring will have an advantage in terms of drastically reducing fees by:

  1. Minimizing or reducing emissions in the Other Large Release Event category.
  2. Demonstrating lower overall emissions with accurate duration and intermittency duration,
    particularly for third-party flyover findings.
  3. Driving overall emissions reductions through measure-to-abate initiatives, in which
    emissions measurement drives equipment choices that most effectively reduce emissions.

The WEC language was proposed in the Winter of 2024 with public comment – the rule language is expected to be finalized in mid-2024. As mentioned above, we continue to urge the EPA to recognize top-down monitoring as the most accurate way to determine total emissions and to consider the IRA language to be inclusive of Congress's intent to leverage new and emerging advanced technologies to give operators the option to use accurate direct measurement of emissions to calculate fees – we urge all stakeholders to do the same.

Timeline of Combined Rulemakings

We point you to Harvard EELP’s excellent resources on the timing and details of each of the three methane rules moving through EPA:  

Below is a timeline similar to that built by the EELP.

Please check back often to keep up-to-date on all things methane emissions.

LongPath continues to track regulatory developments to keep you in compliance.


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