D.C. Circuit Acts Quickly To Vacate EPA's Stay of Methane Rule
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a 90-day stay imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on portions of its methane rule for new oil and gas infrastructure, finding the agency lacked authority under the Clean Air Act to issue the stay. Clean Air Council v. Pruitt, No. 17-1145 (D.C. Cir. July 3, 2017). The methane rule, which establishes “New Source Performance Standards” for fugitive emissions of methane and other pollutants by the oil and natural gas industries, was finalized in June 2016 by the Obama administration. Notably, the Court’s 2-1 decision puts back into effect the June 3, 2017 deadline for regulated entities to conduct an initial monitoring survey to identify leaks from equipment.