Following more than a year of unprecedented public outreach and stakeholder collaboration and extensive work by the Methane Advisory Panel, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) on July 20 released a draft version of the state’s first ozone precursor rules.
NMED’s draft rules target oil and natural gas facilities that emit nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Regulating these emissions will result in a co-benefit of reducing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
“Putting these rules into place will ultimately mean cleaner air and a healthier environment for New Mexicans,” said Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “Using the best available science, collaborating with subject matter experts and the public, and employing innovative solutions to a pressing environmental issue – the team at the Environment Department has done outstanding work to get us to this point.”
A 30-day public comment period on the draft rules is not required by regulation but will be held to ensure the public can participate in the regulatory process. Once NMED receives and considers public input, it will draft regulations for consideration by the Environmental Improvement Board, which will entail a formal public comment period and participation process.
NMED and the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD), which also released draft methane rules on July 20, collaborated to ensure the draft rules are complementary and do not result in redundant or conflicting requirements.