U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said last month it has delayed a decision on whether to declare the Permian Basin a non-attainment area for ozone. Houston Chronicle called the announcement “a break for oil and gas drillers that faced potentially severe restrictions on the amount of pollution they release into the air.”
EPA said last year it was considering whether to declare counties in west Texas and eastern New Mexico in violation of federal limits on ozone pollution after air monitors in eastern New Mexico showed increased ozone levels. An EPA official told the Chronicle the EPA had not ended the inquiry but rather delayed it.
Last year Texas Oil and Gas Association called EPA’s move an attempt to undermine domestic production that would kill jobs and threaten U.S. security.