# 40 CFR § 98.234 - Monitoring and QA/QC requirements.

§ 98.234 Monitoring and QA/QC requirements.

The GHG emissions data for petroleum and natural gas emissions sources must be quality assured as applicable as specified in this section. Offshore petroleum and natural gas production facilities shall adhere to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements as set forth in 30 CFR 250.

(a) You must use any of the methods described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section to conduct leak detection(s) of through-valve leakage from all source types listed in § 98.233(k), (o), and (p) that occur during a calendar year. You must use any of the methods described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (7) of this section to conduct leak detection(s) of equipment leaks from components as specified in § 98.233(q)(1)(i) that occur during a calendar year. You must use any of the methods described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section to conduct leak detection(s) of equipment leaks from components as specified in § 98.233(q)(1)(ii) that occur during a calendar year. You must use one of the methods described in paragraph (a)(6) or (7) of this section to conduct leak detection(s) of equipment leaks from components as specified in § 98.233(q)(1)(iii). If electing to comply with § 98.233(q) as specified in § 98.233(q)(1)(iv), you must use any of the methods described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (7) of this section to conduct leak detection(s) of equipment leaks from component types as specified in § 98.233(q)(1)(iv) that occur during a calendar year.

(1) Optical gas imaging instrument as specified in § 60.18 of this chapter. Use an optical gas imaging instrument for equipment leak detection in accordance with 40 CFR part 60, subpart A, § 60.18 of the Alternative work practice for monitoring equipment leaks, § 60.18(i)(1)(i); § 60.18(i)(2)(i) except that the monitoring frequency shall be annual using the detection sensitivity level of 60 grams per hour as stated in 40 CFR Part 60, subpart A, Table 1: Detection Sensitivity Levels; § 60.18(i)(2)(ii) and (iii) except the gas chosen shall be methane, and § 60.18(i)(2)(iv) and (v); § 60.18(i)(3); § 60.18(i)(4)(i) and (v); including the requirements for daily instrument checks and distances, and excluding requirements for video records. Any emissions detected by the optical gas imaging instrument is a leak unless screened with Method 21 (40 CFR part 60, appendix A-7) monitoring, in which case 10,000 ppm or greater is designated a leak. In addition, you must operate the optical gas imaging instrument to image the source types required by this subpart in accordance with the instrument manufacturer's operating parameters. Unless using methods in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an optical gas imaging instrument must be used for all source types that are inaccessible and cannot be monitored without elevating the monitoring personnel more than 2 meters above a support surface.

(2) Method 21. Use the equipment leak detection methods in 40 CFR part 60, appendix A-7, Method 21. If using Method 21 monitoring, if an instrument reading of 10,000 ppm or greater is measured, a leak is detected. Inaccessible emissions sources, as defined in 40 CFR part 60, are not exempt from this subpart. If the equipment leak detection methods in this paragraph cannot be used, you must use alternative leak detection devices as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section to monitor inaccessible equipment leaks or vented emissions.

(3) Infrared laser beam illuminated instrument. Use an infrared laser beam illuminated instrument for equipment leak detection. Any emissions detected by the infrared laser beam illuminated instrument is a leak unless screened with Method 21 monitoring, in which case 10,000 ppm or greater is designated a leak. In addition, you must operate the infrared laser beam illuminated instrument to detect the source types required by this subpart in accordance with the instrument manufacturer's operating parameters.

(4) [Reserved]

(5) Acoustic leak detection device. Use the acoustic leak detection device to detect through-valve leakage. When using the acoustic leak detection device to quantify the through-valve leakage, you must use the instrument manufacturer's calculation methods to quantify the through-valve leak. When using the acoustic leak detection device, if a leak of 3.1 scf per hour or greater is calculated, a leak is detected. In addition, you must operate the acoustic leak detection device to monitor the source valves required by this subpart in accordance with the instrument manufacturer's operating parameters. Acoustic stethoscope type devices designed to detect through valve leakage when put in contact with the valve body and that provide an audible leak signal but do not calculate a leak rate can be used to identify non-leakers with subsequent measurement required to calculate the rate if through-valve leakage is identified. Leaks are reported if a leak rate of 3.1 scf per hour or greater is measured.

(6) Optical gas imaging instrument as specified in § 60.5397a of this chapter. Use an optical gas imaging instrument for equipment leak detection in accordance with § 60.5397a(b), (c)(3), (c)(7), and (e) of this chapter and paragraphs (a)(6)(i) through (iii) of this section. Unless using methods in paragraph (a)(7) of this section, an optical gas imaging instrument must be used for all source types that are inaccessible and cannot be monitored without elevating the monitoring personnel more than 2 meters above a support surface.

(i) For the purposes of this subpart, any visible emissions from a component listed in § 98.232 observed by the optical gas imaging instrument is a leak.

(ii) For the purposes of this subpart, the term “fugitive emissions component” in § 60.5397a of this chapter means “component.”

(iii) For the purpose of complying with § 98.233(q)(1)(iv), the phrase “the collection of fugitive emissions components at well sites and compressor stations” in § 60.5397a(b) of this chapter means “the collection of components for which you elect to comply with § 98.233(q)(1)(iv).”

(7) Method 21 as specified in § 60.5397a of this chapter. Use the equipment leak detection methods in appendix A-7 to part 60 of this chapter, Method 21, in accordance with § 60.5397a(b), (c)(8), and (e) of this chapter and paragraphs (a)(7)(i) through (iii) of this section. Inaccessible emissions sources, as defined in part 60 of this chapter, are not exempt from this subpart. If the equipment leak detection methods in this paragraph cannot be used, you must use alternative leak detection devices as described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section to monitor inaccessible equipment leaks.

(i) For the purposes of this subpart, any instrument reading from a component listed in § 98.232 of this chapter of 500 ppm or greater using Method 21 is a leak.

(ii) For the purposes of this subpart, the term “fugitive emissions component” in § 60.5397a of this chapter means “component.”

(iii) For the purpose of complying with § 98.233(q)(1)(iv), the phrase “the collection of fugitive emissions components at well sites and compressor stations” in § 60.5397a(b) of this chapter means “the collection of components for which you elect to comply with § 98.233(q)(1)(iv).”

(b) You must operate and calibrate all flow meters, composition analyzers and pressure gauges used to measure quantities reported in § 98.233 according to the procedures in § 98.3(i) and the procedures in paragraph (b) of this section. You may use an appropriate standard method published by a consensus-based standards organization if such a method exists or you may use an industry standard practice. Consensus-based standards organizations include, but are not limited to, the following: ASTM International, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Gas Association (AGA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).

(c) Use calibrated bags (also known as vent bags) only where the emissions are at near-atmospheric pressures and below the maximum temperature specified by the vent bag manufacturer such that the bag is safe to handle. The bag opening must be of sufficient size that the entire emission can be tightly encompassed for measurement till the bag is completely filled.

(1) Hold the bag in place enclosing the emissions source to capture the entire emissions and record the time required for completely filling the bag. If the bag inflates in less than one second, assume one second inflation time.

(2) Perform three measurements of the time required to fill the bag, report the emissions as the average of the three readings.

(3) Estimate natural gas volumetric emissions at standard conditions using calculations in § 98.233(t).

(4) Estimate CH4 and CO2 volumetric and mass emissions from volumetric natural gas emissions using the calculations in § 98.233(u) and (v).

(d) Use a high volume sampler to measure emissions within the capacity of the instrument.

(1) A technician following manufacturer instructions shall conduct measurements, including equipment manufacturer operating procedures and measurement methods relevant to using a high volume sampler, including positioning the instrument for complete capture of the equipment leak without creating backpressure on the source.

(2) If the high volume sampler, along with all attachments available from the manufacturer, is not able to capture all the emissions from the source then use anti-static wraps or other aids to capture all emissions without violating operating requirements as provided in the instrument manufacturer's manual.

(3) Estimate natural gas volumetric emissions at standard conditions using calculations in § 98.233(t). Estimate CH4 and CO2 volumetric and mass emissions from volumetric natural gas emissions using the calculations in § 98.233(u) and (v).

(4) Calibrate the instrument at 2.5 percent methane with 97.5 percent air and 100 percent CH4 by using calibrated gas samples and by following manufacturer's instructions for calibration.

(e) Peng Robinson Equation of State means the equation of state defined by Equation W-41 of this section:

$p=\frac{RT}{{V}_{m}-b}-\frac{a\alpha }{{V}_{m}^{2}+2b{V}_{m}-{b}^{2}}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\text{(Eq. W-41)}$

Where:
p = Absolute pressure.
R = Universal gas constant.
T = Absolute temperature.
Vm = Molar volume.

$\begin{array}{c}a=\frac{{0.45724R}^{2}{T}_{c}^{2}}{{p}_{c}}\\ b=\frac{{0.7780\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\mathrm{RT}}_{c}}{{p}_{c}}\\ \alpha ={\left(1+\left(0.37464+1.54226\omega -0.26992{\omega }^{2}\right)\left(1-\sqrt{\frac{T}{{T}_{c}}}\right)\right)}^{2}\end{array}$

Where:
ω = Acentric factor of the species.
Tc = Critical temperature.
Pc = Critical pressure.

(f) Special reporting provisions for best available monitoring methods in reporting year 2015 -

(1) Best available monitoring methods. From January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015, for a facility subject to this subpart, you must use the calculation methodologies and equations in § 98.233 “Calculating GHG Emissions”, but you may use the best available monitoring method for any parameter for which it is not reasonably feasible to acquire, install, and operate a required piece of monitoring equipment by January 1, 2015 as specified in paragraphs (f)(2) and (3) of this section. Starting no later than April 1, 2015, you must discontinue using best available methods and begin following all applicable monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this part, except as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section. Best available monitoring methods means any of the following methods:

(i) Monitoring methods currently used by the facility that do not meet the specifications of this subpart.

(ii) Supplier data.

(iii) Engineering calculations.

(iv) Other company records.

(2) Best available monitoring methods for well-related measurement data. You may use best available monitoring methods for well-related measurement data identified in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section that cannot reasonably be measured according to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this subpart.

(i) If Calculation Method 1 for liquids unloading in § 98.233(f)(1) was used in calendar year 2014 and will be used again in calendar year 2015, the vented natural gas flow rate for any well in a unique tubing diameter group and pressure group combination that has not been previously measured.

(ii) If using Equation W-10A of this subpart to determine natural gas emissions from completions and workovers for representative wells, the initial and average flowback rates (when using Calculation Method 1 in § 98.233(g)(1)(i)) or pressures upstream and downstream of the choke (when using Calculation Method 2 in § 98.233(g)(1)(ii)) for any well in a well type combination that has not been previously measured.

(3) Best available monitoring methods for emissions measurement. You may use best available monitoring methods for sources listed in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section if the required measurement data cannot reasonably be obtained according to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this part.

(i) Centrifugal compressor as found measurements of manifolded emissions from groups of centrifugal compressor sources according to § 98.233(o)(4) and (5), in onshore natural gas processing, onshore natural gas transmission compression, underground natural gas storage, LNG storage, and LNG import and export equipment as specified in § 98.232(d)(2), (e)(2), (f)(2), (g)(2), and (h)(2).

(ii) Reciprocating compressor as found measurements of manifolded emissions from groups of reciprocating compressor sources according to § 98.233(p)(4) and (5), in onshore natural gas processing, onshore natural gas transmission compression, underground natural gas storage, LNG storage, and LNG import and export equipment as specified in § 98.232(d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(1), (g)(1), and (h)(1).

(4) Requests for extension of the use of best available monitoring methods beyond March 31, 2015. You may submit a request to the Administrator to use one or more best available monitoring methods for sources listed in paragraphs (f)(2) and (3) of this section beyond March 31, 2015.

(i) Timing of request. The extension request must be submitted to EPA no later than January 31, 2015.

(ii) Content of request. Requests must contain the following information:

(A) A list of specific source types and parameters for which you are seeking use of best available monitoring methods.

(B) For each specific source type for which you are requesting use of best available monitoring methods, a description of the reasons that the needed equipment could not be obtained and installed before April 1, 2015.

(C) A description of the specific actions you will take to obtain and install the equipment as soon as reasonably feasible and the expected date by which the equipment will be installed and operating.

(iii) Approval criteria. To obtain approval to use best available monitoring methods after March 31, 2015, you must submit a request demonstrating to the Administrator's satisfaction that it is not reasonably feasible to acquire, install, and operate a required piece of monitoring equipment by April 1, 2015. The use of best available methods under paragraph (f) of this section will not be approved beyond December 31, 2015.

(g) Special reporting provisions for best available monitoring methods in reporting year 2016 -

(1) Best available monitoring methods. From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, you must use the calculation methodologies and equations in § 98.233 but you may use the best available monitoring method as described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section for any parameter specified in paragraphs (g)(3) through (6) of this section for which it is not reasonably feasible to acquire, install, and operate a required piece of monitoring equipment by January 1, 2016. Starting no later than January 1, 2017, you must discontinue using best available methods and begin following all applicable monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this part. For onshore petroleum and natural gas production, this paragraph (g)(1) only applies if emissions from well completions and workovers of oil wells with hydraulic fracturing cause your facility to exceed the reporting threshold in § 98.231(a)(1).

(2) Best available monitoring methods means any of the following methods:

(i) Monitoring methods currently used by the facility that do not meet the specifications of this subpart.

(ii) Supplier data.

(iii) Engineering calculations.

(iv) Other company records.

(3) Best available monitoring methods for well-related measurement data for oil wells with hydraulic fracturing. You may use best available monitoring methods for any well-related measurement data that cannot reasonably be measured according to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this subpart for venting during well completions and workovers of oil wells with hydraulic fracturing.

(4) Best available monitoring methods for measurement data for onshore petroleum and natural gas gathering and boosting facilities. You may use best available monitoring methods for any leak detection and/or measurement data that cannot reasonably be measured according to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this subpart for acid gas removal vents as specified in § 98.233(d).

(5) Best available monitoring methods for measurement data for natural gas transmission pipelines. You may use best available monitoring methods for any measurement data for natural gas transmission pipelines that cannot reasonably be obtained according to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this subpart for blowdown vent stacks.

(6) Best available monitoring methods for specified activity data. You may use best available monitoring methods for activity data as listed in paragraphs (g)(6)(i) through (iii) of this section that cannot reasonably be obtained according to the monitoring and QA/QC requirements of this subpart for well completions and workovers of oil wells with hydraulic fracturing, onshore petroleum and natural gas gathering and boosting facilities, or natural gas transmission pipelines.

(i) Cumulative hours of venting, days, or times of operation in § 98.233(e), (g), (o), (p), and (r).

(ii) Number of blowdowns, completions, workovers, or other events in § 98.233(g) and (i).

(iii) Cumulative volume produced, volume input or output, or volume of fuel used in paragraphs § 98.233(d), (e), (j), (n), and (z).

(h) For well venting for liquids unloading, if a monitoring period other than the full calendar year is used to determine the cumulative amount of time in hours of venting for each well (the term “Tp” in Equation W-7A and W-7B of § 98.233) or the number of unloading events per well (the term “Vp” in Equations W-8 and W-9 of § 98.233), then the monitoring period must begin before February 1 of the reporting year and must not end before December 1 of the reporting year. The end of one monitoring period must immediately precede the start of the next monitoring period for the next reporting year. All production days must be monitored and all venting accounted for.

[75 FR 74488, Nov. 30, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 22827, Apr. 25, 2011; 76 FR 59540, Sept. 27, 2011; 76 FR 80586, Dec. 23, 2011; 78 FR 25395, May 1, 2013; 79 FR 70410, Nov. 25, 2014; 80 FR 64291, Oct. 22, 2015; 81 FR 86514, Nov. 30, 2016]