Only a month ago, the industry was awaiting new EPA methane emission rules. In an about-face, the EPA said it will stop directly regulating methane emissions. Instead, regulation of the potent greenhouse gas will fall to the states. For industry, staying ahead of quickly evolving emissions regulations is becoming more difficult.
If you're a company operating in an industry with high GHG and other harmful emissions, an environmental law audit can ensure you remain in compliance. The following trends could increase your environmental liability risk.
New Ways of Tracking and Measuring Industry Emissions
A European Space Agency satellite has recently spotted a European gas pipeline leaking 93 tonnes of methane an hour. Unfortunately for the pipeline owner, the leak was widely publicized in the media.
More eyes will be tracking your methane and other emissions. The recent satellite bypass was a glimpse of future surveillance techniques. The IEA is proposing using satellite sensing technology and air surveillance as a way to monitor and measure industry methane emissions.
If your industry operations have high GHG emissions, you could wait to be publicly outed. Or you could have your environmental law practice conduct an audit and help you identify where and how to reduce pollutant emissions. By doing so, you can reduce both environmental liability and reputational risk.
Voluntary Reductions and Public Reporting
On both a global and local level, the industry is under more pressure to voluntarily reduce GHG emissions. New voluntary emission reporting initiatives include the:
- Methane Challenge programs. Through the voluntary and transparent reporting program, companies have an opportunity to position themselves as leaders in methane emission reduction.
- IEA Methane Tracker, reporting on oil and gas methane emissions and technology control measures.
You could choose not to participate. The challenge is, the results are being made public. Your environmental law practice can help you identify areas for voluntary emissions and ways to go above and beyond evolving and increasingly stricter emission standards.
Against this changing regulatory backdrop, the EPA has been hit by an onslaught of lawsuits by states and public interest groups. As of result of these environmental lawsuits, many new environmental law precedents affecting industry could be established.
Environmental law practices expect to see more environmental lawsuits. For industry, failure to voluntarily reduce GHG emissions could result in stricter command and control regulations and more environmental liability lawsuits. An environmental law audit can help you stay ahead of the shifting regulatory winds on industry GHG emissions.
For further information, reach out to a local environmental law practice.