43 CFR Part 3170 Subpart 3179 - Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) (2024)

§ 3179.100 Leak detection and repair program.

(a) Pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the operator must maintain a BLM administrative statewide LDAR program designed to prevent the waste of Federal or Indian gas.

(b) Operators must submit a statewide LDAR program to the BLM state office with jurisdiction over the production for review. The LDAR program must cover operations and production equipment located on a Federal or Indian oil and gas lease and not operations and production equipment located on State or private tracts, even though those tracts are committed to a federally approved unit PA or CA. When there is a change of operator, the new operator must update the LDAR program on the annual update and revision timeline. Operators must submit the LDAR program in writing for review until such time as the BLM's electronic filing system is capable of receiving LDAR program submissions. At minimum, the LDAR program must contain the following information, as applicable:

(1) Identification of the leases, unit PAs, and CAs by geographic State for all States within BLM's administrative State boundaries to which the LDAR program applies;

(2) Identification of the method and frequency of leak detection inspection used at the lease, unit PA, or CA. Acceptable methods, as well as other methods approved by the BLM, and frequency include the following:

(i) Well pads with only wellheads and no production equipment or storage must include quarterly AVO inspections for leak detection;

(ii) Well pads with any production and processing equipment and oil storage must include AVO inspections every other month and quarterly optical gas imaging for leak detection; and

(iii) Other leak detection inspection methods and frequency acceptable to the BLM (e.g., continuous monitoring).

(3) Identification of the operator's recordkeeping process for leak detection and repair pursuant to § 3179.102.

(c) The BLM will review the operator's LDAR program and notify the operator if the BLM deems the program to be inadequate. The notification will explain the basis for the BLM's determination, identify the plan's inadequacies, describe any additional measures that could address the inadequacies, and provide a reasonable time frame in which the operator must submit a revised LDAR program to the BLM for review.

(d) For leases in effect on June 10, 2024, the operator must submit a statewide LDAR program to the state office no later than December 10, 2025.

(e) Operators must review and update submitted LDAR programs on an annual basis in the month in which the operator submitted the first LDAR program to ensure that the identified leases, unit PAs, and CAs, leak detection methods, and frequency of inspections are current. If the operator's LDAR program requires no changes, then the operator must notify the BLM state office that the LDAR program submitted and reviewed by the BLM remains in effect. Any updates to the LDAR program must be submitted in writing to the BLM state office for review until such time as the BLM's electronic system is capable of receiving the annual LDAR updates.

§ 3179.101 Repairing leaks.

(a) The operator must repair any leak as soon as practicable, and in no event later than 30 calendar days after discovery, unless good cause exists to delay the repair for a longer period. Good cause for delay of repair exists if the repair (including replacement) is technically infeasible (including unavailability of parts that have been ordered), would require a pipeline blowdown, a compressor station shutdown, or a well shut-in, or would be unsafe to conduct during operation of the unit.

(b) If there is good cause for delaying the repair beyond 30 calendar days, the operator must notify the BLM of the cause by Sundry Notice and must complete the repair at the earliest opportunity, such as during the next compressor station shutdown, well shut-in, or pipeline blowdown. In no case will the BLM approve a delay of more than 2 years.

(c) Not later than 30 calendar days after completion of a repair, the operator must verify the effectiveness of the repair by conducting a follow-up inspection using an appropriate instrument or a soap bubble test under Section 8.3.3 of EPA Method 21—Determination of Volatile Organic Compound Leaks (40 CFR Appendix A-7 to part 60).

(d) If the repair is not effective, the operator must complete additional repairs within 15 calendar days and conduct follow-up inspections and repairs until the leak is repaired.

§ 3179.102 Required recordkeeping for leak detection and repair.

(a) The operator must maintain the following records for the period required under 43 CFR 3162.4-1(d) and make them available to the AO upon request:

(1) For each inspection required under § 3179.100 of this subpart, documentation of:

(i) The date of the inspection; and

(ii) The site where the inspection was conducted;

(2) The monitoring method(s) used to determine the presence of leaks;

(3) A list of leak components on which leaks were found;

(4) The date each leak was repaired; and

(5) The date and result of the follow-up inspection(s) required under § 3179.101(c).

(b) With the annual review and update of the LDAR program under § 3179.100(e) the operator must provide to the BLM state office an annual summary report on the previous year's inspection activities that includes:

(1) The number of sites inspected;

(2) The total number of leaks identified, categorized by the type of component;

(3) The total number of leaks that were not repaired from the previous LDAR program year due to good cause and an estimated date of repair for each leak.

(c) AVO checks are not required to be documented unless they find a leak requiring repair.

43 CFR Part 3170 Subpart 3179 - Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) (2024)


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