The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected Cheniere Energy’s request to have two Gulf Coast plants exempted from a federal air pollution rule. Cheniere Energy is a major U.S. producer of liquefied natural gas.
The EPA turned down Cheniere’s request to disregard a regulation that restricts the amount of cancer-causing formaldehyde that gas-fired turbines are allowed to emit. A deadline to comply with the formaldehyde rule, which is being restored after an 18-year hiatus, was imposed on dozens of turbine operators.
The biggest LNG exporter in the United States, Cheniere, had issued a warning that new regulations on LNG plants in Texas and Louisiana would stymie gas shipments to Europe, which has been struggling with rising energy costs since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Cheniere also said that while it disagrees with EPA’s stance it will “create solutions that ensure compliance.”
Environmentalists claimed Cheniere was attempting to circumvent what many people consider lenient EPA regulations by taking advantage of the worldwide gas crisis and rising costs in Europe.
Under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, a 2004 regulation that is being reinstated after an 18-year stay, petrochemical companies, pipeline operators, and other producers will have to demonstrate that they have complied with EPA limitations on formaldehyde.