Congressional Hispanic Caucus calls for tighter methane rules

Congressional Hispanic Caucus calls for tighter methane rules

Tower burning methane

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Sixteen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday asking it to strengthen recently proposed rules aimed at cutting methane emissions.

The letter applauds the news rules, which were passed last month, and mentions two additional provisions the lawmakers would like to see: regular inspections for smaller oil and gas wells and more limits on flaring, a pollution-intensive activity that burns off unused gas. Flaring has been linked to health problems like asthma, heart issues and premature births, and Black, Indigenous and Latino communities bear most of the harm. The letter also points out the outsized impact methane pollution has on Latino communities, citing that 1.81 million Latinos live within a half-mile of an oil and gas well.

“These improvements must be addressed in a final rule to ensure EPA is protecting frontline communities (often communities of color and low-income communities) from pollution, safeguarding public health, holding oil and gas companies accountable, and acting on climate,” the letter states.

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