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Proposed Changes to BLM Methane Rule Will Harm Health


February 12, 2018

Contact: Cara Cook, Climate Change Program Coordinator, ANHE


Washington DC (February 12, 2018) – Today, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced a proposal that would all but eliminate the 2016 Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane and Waste Prevention rule. The finalized 2016 rule limits the wasteful venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands, providing public health and climate protections. Today’s proposal would gut these protections.

In response to this announcement, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments’ Executive Director, Katie Huffling, MS, RN, CNM issued the following statement:

“The Alliance strongly supports the current BLM rule that limits methane waste and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which not only helps to mitigate climate change and its associated health risks by limiting emissions of methane – an especially potent greenhouse gas — but it also limits emissions of toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants, benefiting public health in communities across the country. The current BLM methane rule also reduces the emissions of VOCs, which are precursors to the formation of ozone. By limiting emissions of VOCs, there are reductions in ozone-related health effects, including asthma attacks, hospital admissions and premature deaths.

For the more than 12 million people in the US living in communities near oil and gas facilities, today’s announcement to revise the 2016 rule is further evidence that this administration puts industry profits ahead of the health of everyday Americans.”



The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.