Check it: The Oil and Gas Industry’s Exclusions and Exemptions to Major Environmental Statutes
I know there’s a lot to learn about the oil and gas business and no mayor can know all of it. That’s one reason I have this blog, to help you guys out a little bit.
The oil and gas industry enjoys broad exemptions to all our federal environmental statutes:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, andLiability Act
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Clean Water Act
- Clean Air Act
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
Under the Clean Water Act CWA it states:
Despite the EPA’s efforts over the past 15 years to maintain these stormwater regulations, the 2005 Energy Policy Act amended the CWA to provide that sediment is no longer considered a pollutant. The broadened exemption provided in the 2005 Energy Policy Act applies to all oil and gas field construction activities and operations, including those necessary to prepare a site for drilling and for the movement and placement of drilling equipment. The EPA has confirmed this interpretation by stating, “all covered oil and gas-related construction activities are eligible for the NPDES permitting exemption for their uncontaminated stormwater discharges without regard to the amount of acreage disturbed.”
The EPA further clarified the broad application of the exemption to construction sites as “[f]ield activities or operations” include “the construction of drilling sites, drilling waste management pits, access roads, in-field treatment plants and the transportation infrastructure (e.g., crude oil and natural gas pipelines, natural gas treatment plants and both natural gas pipeline compressor and crude oil pump stations) necessary for the operation of most producing oil and gas fields.”31 “Processing” includes both oil and gas field activities and involves removal of contaminants such as salt water, sediment, pipe scale, rust and organic material, most commonly in a separator. “Transmission” includes all necessary infrastructure to deliver natural gas or crude oil from the producing fields to the final distribution center (for natural gas) or refinery (for crude oil).
And so on… It might be beneficial for you to read this booklet published by OGAP so you will understand all the exemptions and especially the one that boils down to this:
Oil and gas operations are exempt from runoff and erosion controls that apply to other industry.
Which is what I stated in my blog post that you tried to discredit at the council meeting tonight. And had you bothered to click on that link and read through the exemptions you would have known about the exemption tonight and I could have avoided this whole blog post.
If I were Mayor of Bartonville, I would give Runner Susan a medal because those violations at the Green well aka “Shanty Town” were egregious and endangered the public.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Runner Susan says
spank me. I'm a bad girl.
You are doing the right thing. Last night the mayor exposed his agenda.