North Dakotans and Americans alike need EPA’s and BLM’s rules to protect them from methane and other harmful air pollution resulting from oil and gas activities.
Residents of the Fort Berthold Reservation and across North Dakota are already paying the price for oil and gas leaking and venting, and they will continue to do so if we get rid of our vital pollution safeguards.
We know if the federal pollution standards are suspended or repealed, millions across the country will face the same unfair health challenges already impacting Native Americans in the region.
EPA’s New Source methane pollution standards apply to 7,400 “new and modified” oil and gas wells across the state of Texas; in order to reduce toxic emissions and comply with the EPA’s standards, “new and modified” facilities are required to install pollution control equipment when they are first built or when an older facility is modified and to regularly inspect and fix leaky equipment.
Now, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is attempting to suspend these common sense leak detection and repair requirements at the behest of the oil and gas lobby. If these safeguards are suspended, or even worse repealed, families and children in Texas will undoubtedly face an ever-growing public health crisis from unchecked pollution in their communities, near schools, churches, and neighborhoods.
Ohio’s oil and natural gas producers reported spewing more than 13,000 metric tons of industrial methane pollution and toxic chemicals into the air in 2014. These nonstop leaks, invisible to the naked eye, had the same climate impact as driving 70,000 cars for a year.
There are many types of polluting oil and gas equipment aside from wells: tanks, pumps, compressor stations, pipelines. These sources emit not just methane but also more-harmful substances, such as benzene. Emissions of other chemicals form ozone smog, which can trigger deadly asthma attacks in children and old people.