New Mexico Environment Department Releases Draft Ozone Precursor Emissions Rules For Public Comment … Rules Will Reduce VOCs, NOx, Methane Emissions

NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney

NMED News:

SANTA FE – Today, following more than a year of unprecedented public outreach and stakeholder collaboration and thousands of hours of work by staff and members of the Methane Advisory Panel, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) released a draft version of the state’s first ozone precursor rules for an informal 30-day public comment period.

NMED’s draft rules target oil and natural gas equipment that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). 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,” Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said. “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.”

The public comment period on the draft rules is not regulatorily required and is meant to ensure the public can participate in the regulatory process to the maximum extent possible.

Once NMED receives and considers public input, it will draft regulations for consideration before 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 rules today, worked closely together throughout the process to ensure the draft rules are complementary and do not result in redundant or conflicting requirements.

The draft rules are available here.

Provide input on the draft rules by 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020 to nm.methanestrategy@state.nm.us or to Liz Bisbey-Kuehn, NMED Air Quality Bureau, 525 Camino de los Marquez, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

NMED and EMNRD will cohost a virtual public meeting on the rules 4-6 p.m. Aug. 6. Additional details are forthcoming.

LOS ALAMOS

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