Dubbed a sister bill to the “FRAC Act” (which targets water emissions from hydraulic fracturing), last week Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced the “BREATHE Act,” for “Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effects.” According to a release from Rep. Polis, the bill specifically:

  • Closes the NESHAP exemption. While some emissions requirements exist for individual wells, oil and gas drilling is exempted from aggregated “major source” requirements under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).
  • In practical terms, would prompt the industry to follow NESHAP’s required use of best available and currently used emissions control technology.
  • Closes the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exemption. Hydrogen sulfide, which emitted from oil and gas operations, is currently exempt from regulation as a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.