On October 14, APGA staff participated in a webinar hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The focus of this event was to detail a new commitment option being developed for voluntarily reporting on supply of renewable natural gas (RNG) through natural gas transmission and distribution systems. Through the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, EPA encourages partners, which includes natural gas distribution companies, to make ambitious commitments to reduce methane emissions through implementation of cost-effective technologies and practices. EPA recognizes ongoing advances in approaches for identifying, measuring, and mitigating methane emissions and is always looking for ways to acknowledge the efforts of industry. That is why this new Best Management Practice (BMP) commitment option is being proposed to better capture which natural gas distribution companies receive and supply RNG through voluntarily reporting it to the agency.
Participation will highlight the efforts of natural gas utilities in methane reduction, both from their systems, as well as from surrounding facilities, such as landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and livestock farms. It is encouraging to see EPA put forward this proposal recognizing that by transmitting and distributing RNG in their pipelines and systems to end users, distribution companies are playing a valuable role in providing market access for methane recovery projects, and overall, decreasing emissions. This would be an add-on commitment, so partners wanting to volunteer would need to do other requirements of the Methane Challenge program, such as replacing cast-iron pipe. However, being part of this EPA voluntary reporting effort, when appropriate, is another way to show how the natural gas utility industry is doing its part to decrease emissions, utilizing America’s existing distribution pipeline infrastructure and the already trained workforce.
If you are interested in learning more on EPA’s Methane Challenge program or have questions on this article, please contact Stuart Saulters of APGA staff by phone at 202-544-1334 or by email at email@example.com