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Seven States Plan to Sue EPA Over Lack of Methane Regulations

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WikiMedia Commons

New York’s Attorney General is leading a group of seven states that plan to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA, claiming the agency violated the Clean Air Act. Environmental Protection Bureau Assistant Attorney General and lead attorney for the case Michael Myers says the lawsuit is an effort to control a potent greenhouse gas.

Industry representatives say the lawsuit won’t go anywhere because standards have been set.  American Petroleum Institute Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman says the lawsuit makes no sense.

But Assistant Attorney General Michael Myers notes the industry controls do not target methane emissions.

Methane is more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth is concerned because hydraulic fracturing is one of the largest sources of methane emissions.

The seven states that filed the required 60-day notice to EPA are New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.