In September of 2013, oil and gas producers were sent a letter detailing their reporting requirements as outlined by the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). Each producer was to submit a number of annual reports to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and their local fire department if hazardous materials were on their facilities of oil and natural gas producers. The requirements also asked producers to include maps of their facilities with each report.
How the Requirements Will Change
In January of 2014, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the SERC met with state legislators. During the meeting, the SERC agreed to drop its map requirements, stating that because these documents were not required under federal law, operators no longer had to submit them. The SERC also agreed to allow producers to file a “short form” version of its reports for the 2012 and 2013 periods. These forms were to include only the information added by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 2013, and they were due by March 1 of this year.
These two minor revisions will allow producers to comply with EPCRA reporting requirements in an easier, less time-consuming manner. In the near future, the Ohio Oil & Gas Association hopes that the state will move to a one-stop electronic reporting tool, which would allow producers to file a singular report online. The SERC and the ODNR are currently evaluating this possibility to ensure that it will work with the state’s Risk-Based Data Management System before moving forward.
To learn more about statewide reporting requirements in Ohio or elsewhere, or to inquire about your own oil and natural gas producers or exploration efforts, contact MAH Energy Law today.
Social Media Blurb: Read about the changed to EPCRA reporting requirements as they apply to Ohio oil and natural gas producers.
Source: Seipel, Penny. “Positive Developments on EPCRA Reporting Oil and Gas Facilities.” OOGA Bulletin 64.2 (2014); 13. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.