Does oil and gas development emit criteria or hazardous air pollutants?

Yes.  Oil and gas development emits both criteria and hazardous air pollutants. These pollutants often face little regulation under the Clean Air Act, however, because the Act focuses most of its controls on “major” sources, which are defined as sources that emit a certain number of tons per year of a pollutant, and particularly on new sources.

Oil and gas operations often are minor sources and are thus regulated—if at all—under state minor source programs … Oil and gas operations (even minor ones) tend to face the strictest regulations in “nonattainment” areas—those areas that have exceeded the … NAAQS for a criteria pollutant and that require control of all air pollution sources.

You can learn more about the Clean Air Act at the EPA’s website at:

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