Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Court denies stay on BLM flaring rule

Efforts to halt the implementation of federal rules on venting and flaring methane on public land failed Monday in a federal court in Casper. Opponents of the Bureau of Land Management’s new flaring rule hoped the court would grant a preliminary injunction, which would keep the regulations from going into effect Tuesday. The judge’s decision applies to multiple requests for a preliminary injunction, from Wyoming, North Dakota and industry groups. Those groups each argued that the BLM overstepped its authority by developing the rules, which among other things require companies to increase inspections and use new technologies to reduced leaks of methane gas. Air quality issues, they argue, are addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, advocates on environmental causes, like the Environmental Defense Fund, say the BLM did have a reason to enforce greater measures against wasted gas, as stewards of public resources. The reduction in emissions that impact air quality is a collateral bonus, they said...more

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