A notice of intent to sue EPA to force the Agency to consider limits on methane from oil and gas drilling operations. New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts joined in the notice declaring that EPA is violating the Clean Air Act because it has not met the mandate to declare and justify whether such controls are appropriate. EPA did not address methane limits in revised new source performance standards ("NSPS") for oil and gas drilling issued in August, instead stating that it would continue to evaluate the appropriateness of setting such limits.
The notice advises that the Clean Air Act imposes a nondiscretionary duty on EPA to make a determination whether to revise standards to regulate methane. The States argue that EPA has violated its duty by refusing to address methane. The States further argue that EPA has violated its statutory duty by failing to render an appropriateness finding on methane controls to limit methane releases from existing sources. As support for this argument, the States cite EPA's 2009 GHG endangerment finding which lists methane as a GHG endangering human health and welfare. The States further assert that cost-effective methods of controlling these emissions are available.
The notice declares that if EPA does not respond within 60 days, the States will file suit in federal court.