EPA Intends To Add Natural Gas Processing Plants to Toxics Inventory

October 28, 2015

Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed October 22, 2015, that the Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) intends to add some natural gas processing facilities to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

The TRI — a searchable online database of many of the largest discharges of toxic substances to air, water, and land — is a foundation for many other environmental databases and a key tool for environmental journalists.

The Environmental Integrity Project, with 16 other organizations, had petitioned EPA back in 2012 to add the oil and gas extraction sector to the list of industries required to report their toxic emissions. McCarthy's October 22 response granted the petition with respect to natural gas processing plants, but denied it for other oil and gas activities, such as the drilling of wells, compressor stations, and pipelines.

Natural gas processing can emit toxic chemicals such as benzene (a carcinogen), formaldehyde, and hexane.

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