The EPA has announced new standards to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas operations.  According to an EPA fact sheet, the proposed standards rely upon existing technologies, and are projected to result in a net annual savings to the industry of $30 million.  The existing technologies have two components: implementation of the EPA's Natural Gas STAR program, which contemplates the use of "green completions" of oil and gas wells, and the continued use of "pit flaring" of non-captured emissions.  A green completion is another name for reduced emissions completions, whereby more of the emissions are captured by surface equipment.  Pit flaring involves the ignition of gas-bearing emissions at the surface, typically in a surface pit.  However, while pit flaring would eliminate certain emissions, it introduces hazards and other emissions issues.  Following a public comment period, the EPA will take final action on the proposed standards by Feb. 28, 2012.