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EPA Launches Voluntary Methane Challenge Program to Reduce Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new voluntary partnership program, with 41 founding partner companies in the oil and gas sector, as part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing commitment to take action on climate change and protect public health. The Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program builds upon the Natural Gas STAR Program, a voluntary partnership between EPA and the U.S. oil and natural gas industry that focuses on achieving cost-effective methane emission reductions from natural gas operations.

“Recent natural gas vehicle technologies are providing a positive impact on downstream emissions,” said Dan Bowerson, NGVAmerica Director of Technology & Development. “These vehicle technologies combined with new technologies upstream can enhance the emissions value proposition of natural gas vehicles.”

The Methane Challenge Program will provide partner companies with a platform to make company-wide commitments to cut emissions from sources within their operations by implementing a suite of best management practices within five years. Partner companies have committed to replacing or rehabilitating cast iron and unprotected steel distribution mains, and to reducing methane emissions from pipeline blowdowns, among other activities.

“The voluntary Methane Challenge program is one important part of our overarching strategy to reduce methane emissions, and complements regulatory efforts that will help the United States meet the Obama Administration’s goal of reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.”

The new program was announced at the Global Methane Forum, hosted by the Global Methane Initiative and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which brought together hundreds of policymakers and industry experts from more than 50 countries to discuss strategies to reduce global methane emissions.

Learn more about the Methane Challenge Program, click here.