The EPA has altered a 2016 rule requiring oil companies to fix leaks from oil and gas wells during unscheduled shutdown periods. Under the now-defunct 2016 rule, oil and gas operators were required to identify and repair sources of fugitive emissions during unscheduled or emergency shutdowns. The EPA estimated that the rule would cost the industry $14-16 million in compliance cost over a 14-year period, and industry representatives have indicated that the rule could potentially disrupt natural gas supplies by taking wells offline for longer periods of time while repairs are being conducted. With this change, owners and operators are still required to complete repairs during scheduled shutdowns, or within two years of discovery, whichever occurs first.
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