Pennsylvania to require gas drillers to reduce air pollution

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration will begin enforcing tougher air pollution standards on Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry in August.

Wolf’s administration said Thursday that it will begin requiring the Marcellus Shale exploration industry to use better equipment to reduce methane emissions and other pollutants from new or updated well sites and compression, processing and transmission stations along pipelines.

The administration has worked on the new permits for several years.

Preventing methane leaks from well-site equipment and pipelines has become important for regulators because methane is a potent greenhouse gas.

Industry officials point to government data that say methane pollution is falling, even as production rises, and that companies have every incentive to ensure methane makes it into the pipeline, rather than the atmosphere.

Pennsylvania is the nation’s second-largest natural gas-producing state.

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