Description: Challenge to new source performance standards for oil and gas sector.
American Petroleum Institute v. EPA
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/18/2017 Order Download Request to hold cases in abeyance granted. D.C. Circuit Granted EPA Request to Hold Challenges to Oil and Gas Methane Standards in Abeyance. On May 18, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold cases challenging methane emissions standards for sources in the oil and natural gas sector in abeyance while EPA reviewed the regulations pursuant to President Trump’s executive order on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” EPA must file status reports with the court every 60 days. After EPA requested that the cases be held in abeyance in early April, the agency also sent a letter on April 18 indicating that it would convene a proceeding for reconsideration of two issues related to fugitive emissions in the final standards published in June 2016. On June 5, EPA published notice in the Federal Register that it was granting reconsideration of two additional elements of the June 2016 standards—the standards for well site pneumatic pumps and the requirements for certification by a professional engineer. EPA also stayed implementation of those aspects of the regulations for 90 days pending reconsideration. 04/21/2017 Reply Download Reply filed by EPA in support of motion to hold cases in abeyance. 04/17/2017 Opposition Download Opposition filed by state respondent-intervenors to EPA's motion to hold cases in abeyance. 04/17/2017 Response Download Joint response filed by industry petitioners in support of EPA's motion to hold cases in abeyance. 04/17/2017 Response Download Joint response filed by state petitioners in support of EPA's motion to hold cases in abeyance. Industry and state petitioners urged the D.C. Circuit to grant EPA’s request to pause the litigation. Their submissions to the court acknowledged the complexity of the case—which also concerns two earlier regulations on emissions from oil and gas sources—but said that holding the case in abeyance would be an appropriate step that would not prejudice any parties. 04/14/2017 Opposition Download Opposition filed by respondent-intervenors environmental groups to EPA's motion to hold cases in abeyance. Two sets of respondent-intervenors—one made up of states that support the NSPS and another comprising environmental groups—opposed holding the case in abeyance, arguing that issues raised were neither moot nor unripe, and that it was not certain that the EPA would be successful in promulgating a different or weaker rule. 04/07/2017 Motion Download Notice of executive order and motion to hold cases in abeyance filed by EPA. EPA Asked D.C. Circuit to Hold Challenges to Oil and Gas Sector Emissions Standards in Abeyance. On April 7, 2017, EPA asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to hold challenges to the new source performance standards (NSPS) for oil and gas facilities in abeyance while the agency reviewed the standards in accordance with President Trump’s executive order on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” The oil and gas sector NSPS, which included limitations on methane emissions, was one of the regulations identified by the executive order for review and possible suspension, revision, or rescission. 01/04/2017 Order Download Order issued consolidating industry petitions and severing environmental groups' challenge. D.C. Circuit to Consider Challenges to Consider EPA Methane Standards for Oil and Gas Sector Alongside Earlier Challenges to 2012 Standard. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA’s request that it consolidate challenges to EPA’s 2016 methane standards for the oil and gas sector with earlier challenges to the 2012 new source performance standards (NSPS) for the sector and a 2014 rule in response to petitions for reconsideration of the 2012 NSPS. The court said that it would not bifurcate the issues to be addressed in the proceedings. The court severed and placed in a new docket (No. 16-1425) environmental groups’ challenge to the 2012 NSPS, which the groups filed to argue that EPA was required to determine whether methane regulation was appropriate and to move forward with methane standards for the oil and gas sector under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The groups had asked that their petition be severed since it could be rendered moot by a decision upholding the 2016 methane standards but said that their claims could become relevant again if the court struck down the methane standards. 10/05/2016 Motion Download Motion filed by environmental groups to govern further proceedings. 12/17/2014 Order Download Order issued. EPA requested, and received, a continued stay of the proceeding challenging its 2012 new source performance standards (NSPS) for the oil and gas sector. EPA asked for the additional time so that it could further consider comments it received on technical white papers regarding control of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The white papers were released in April 2014 as a component of President Obama’s March 2014 strategy to address methane emissions. EPA also said it was working to finalize time-sensitive implementation measures for the NSPS. The parties to the proceeding must file motions to govern further proceedings by January 30, 2015. 12/16/2014 Motion Download Motion filed by EPA to continue stay of proceedings to allow further administrative reconsideration.