Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Air Quality Division (AQD) Administrator Steve Dietrich on Monday reinforced the state’s intention this spring to increase its program for compliance checks of oil and natural gas production facility engines.

Dietrich said these efforts go beyond the AQD’s regular compliance and permitting requirements. He expressed the need to go “above and beyond.”

In a response to NGI Monday, Gov. Matt Mead characterized the compliance checks as a chance for the industry to show how well it is doing in complying with environmental regulation while still producing ample energy. The compliance checks have been in effect since 2011, Mead said.

“DEQ has done these compliance checks statewide,” Mead said. “These checks show that industry is doing well at implementing important technologies that reduce emissions while producing oil and gas that fuel the nation.”

Dietrich emphasized that the engines already have passed state and federal air permitting requirements, but the additional checks provide “real world” data on the environment, weather conditions, etc.

Noting the engines must meet federal requirements when built, Dietrich said the additional checks use a portable analyzer, testing the operations “in the real world environment, including the effects of weather conditions, elevation and loading.

“These efforts have been well received by the industry, and we have seen an increase in performance and compliance of the engines.”

Dietrich also said future steps could include a more “formal testing regime” that follows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s reference methods for recurring problem areas as well as development of training for operators.

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