Feds Update Woefully Outdated Air Pollution Standards For Offshore Oil Drilling

Earthjustice statement on Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposed new standards


 Erika Rosenthal, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice, 202-797-5232


Today, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [BOEM] proposed new standards to rein in air pollution from offshore drilling. This update was spurred by a December 2011 policy rider that shifted responsibility of air permitting for offshore drilling from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of the Interior. While the policy change only applied to Alaska’s outer continental shelf, BOEM took the opportunity to update its air standards for all areas impacted by offshore drilling, including those in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Staff Attorney Erika Rosenthal

“We applaud the Administration’s effort to update its woefully outdated air pollution standards for offshore drilling, and look forward to reviewing and commenting on the proposal. The current standards exempt almost all offshore drilling activity from controls on emitting dangerous climate warming air pollution that harms public health. Strong action to rein in this pollution is critical to protecting the air we breathe air and reducing the climate forcing pollution caused by ongoing offshore drilling.”

Oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. (Lucasz Z / Shutterstock)

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