Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Issues Section 401 Water Quality Certification Conditions for Nationwide Permits

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued its Section 401 Water Quality Certification General and Special Conditions for the Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Nationwide Permits (NWPs) issued earlier this year pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act for dredge and...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Court Reverses EPA Decision to Aggregate Air Sources from Natural Gas Operations

By Armando Benincasa In an important decision on August 7th related to the aggregation of air emissions in the oil and gas industry, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] which would have required Summit Petroleum Corporation...

Fulbright Briefing: Pa. Commonwealth Court Overturns Significant Portions of Act 13; Appeal Filed Next Day

By Kenneth S. Komoroski , Matthew H. Sepp and Michael P. Gaetani The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Oil and Gas Act ("Act 13"), which substantially revises the Oil and Gas Act of 1984, 58 P.S. § 601.101 et seq., and was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett on February...

Babst Calland: Cincinnati Bans UIC Wells Within City Limits

On August 1, 2012, Cincinnati became the first locality in Ohio to ban underground injection wells. The City Council, citing an inability to assess the risks to public health, safety and welfare of injected waste, voted unanimously on Ordinance No. 314 to prohibit waste disposal by injection within the...

Babst Calland: Plain Meaning Prevails - 6th Circuit Overturns EPA's Single Source Determination. What's EPA's Next Step?

On August 7, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published a decision that appears to be a victory in terms of how permitting authorities must decide which air permitting requirements apply to the oil and gas industry. However, a closer look at the Sixth Circuit's decision suggests...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Water Service to Marcellus Natural Gas Wells for Fracturing - PSC Provides Further Guidance

By Kurt Krieger and Todd Swanson Earlier this year an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) ruled that a public service district (PSD) violated various state laws and regulations by refusing to provide water service to a natural gas producer (PSC Case...

Western Legal Group Wins Property Rights Ruling in Pennsylvania Court

DENVER - Energy operators in Pennsylvania, after winning at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia in September 2011, which upheld a December 2009 ruling by a Pennsylvania federal district court regarding the property rights of oil and gas operators, on Sept. 6 celebrated the...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W.Va. Supreme Court to Decide Rights of Surface Owners

By Bridget Furbee The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will decide a certified question sent by the Doddridge County Circuit Court. On September 25, 2012, oral argument was held before the Court in the case of James Martin, Director DEP and EQT Production Co. v. Matthew Hamblet . The surface...

Western Group: U.S. Supreme Court Must Hear Mining Case

By William Perry Pendley DENVER - A 117-year-old nonprofit, non-partisan mining trade association with thousands of members on Oct. 5 urged the Supreme Court of the United States to hear a ruling by a badly fractured en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Northwest Mining...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Regulatory Lead Time an Important Consideration in Development of Ohio Drilling Units

By Kathy Milenkovski and Neal Pierce During the past year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has conducted hearings on three applications for unitized operation under Ohio Revised Code 1509.28. Additional hearings are on the schedule for January 2013. This statutory provision, part of the oil...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Energy Employers Face Increased Enforcement Activities

By C. David Morrison and Rodney L. Bean Representatives of the West Virginia Department of Labor (WVDOL) have begun visiting drilling sites in the state to make sure that all people receiving 1099 income are registered to do business in West Virginia, as required by law. If not registered, businesses...

Babst Calland: Ohio Considers New Rules for Oil, Gas Wastewater Storage

State officials are considering new rules to regulate storage of wastewater used to stimulate wells for the production of oil and gas. The new rules would potentially create new options for shale well producers to store millions of gallons of water in lagoons so that it can be cleaned and re-used in...

Land Owner Concedes Strict Liability Claim in Compressor Station Case

Penn State Marcellus Shale Law Blog reports that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently granted in part and denied in part Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.’s motion to dismiss and or strike a personal injury complaint by a neighboring land owner. In Koziel v....

Transco Asks FERC to Authorize Leidy Southeast Pipeline Project

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (“Transco”) recently filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for authorization to construct and operate the Leidy Southeast Project. According to the application, the Leidy Southeast Project would...

Babst Calland: 3rd Circuit Rules In Favor Of Shell Because Of Lease Unitization Clause

By Alana E. Fortna | On November 18, 2013, the Third Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling out of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in favor of Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP (Shell) in a case captioned as George W. Linder, et al. v. SWEPI, LP, a/k/a Shell Western Exploration...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Court Rules Seneca Has Rights On Game Land

By Matthew L. Lambach On January 27 th , 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania overruled in part and sustained in part the preliminary objections of Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca) to a complaint filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (Commission) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis...

Babst Calland: Ohio Trial Courts Issue Additional Rulings on the Dormant Mineral Act

By Michael T. Altvater | Two Ohio trial courts issued new decisions on Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) addressing an unsettled issue of law concerning whether the 1989 or 2006 version of the DMA should apply to current disputes over the ownership of severed mineral rights. Both...

West Virginia State University Designs Energy Management Concentration to Support West Virginia’s Growing Natural Gas Industry

By Briana J. Marino West Virginia State University has developed a new academic program designed to educate the next generation of oil and gas employees, developers, and industrialists in the Appalachian region. WVSU now offers a Concentration in Energy Management associated with its Bachelor of Science...

Norton Rose Fulbright: Mexico’s Realization of a Re-Energized Industry

By Lauren Brogdon , Tessa Cabello ;and Ariel Cue In late December 2013, the Mexican government, under President Peña Nieto, promulgated a Decree (the "Decree") amending the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (the "Constitution") that introduces new opportunities...

Babst Calland: West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

By Ben Milleville The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461 , known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21 st . The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 25 percent of the severance...

DLA Piper: Avoiding Multimillion-Dollar Liability For De Facto Partnership Breach Under Texas Law: One Useful Tip

By Ileana Blanco After a lengthy trial, a Dallas jury has found that a de facto partnership existed between Energy Transfers Partners, L.P. (ETP) and Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. “to market and pursue a pipeline project to transport crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast.”...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Takes Further Action to Promote Gas and Electric Industry Coordination

B y Kurt L. Krieger On March 20, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued three separate but related items as part of FERC’s ongoing efforts to address gas and electric industry coordination issues arising from the increased reliance on natural gas for electricity...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Court Favors Surface Owner in Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

Walker v. Noon was recently decided by the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals. Walker is noteworthy because it is the first appellate level decision addressing the automatic reversion provision under the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania House and Senate Pass Budget Without Marcellus Gas Severance Tax

By Matthew L. Lambach Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed a budget that did not include a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Governor Tom Corbett withheld his signature while he continues to work with lawmakers on pension reform. Copyright 2014 • Babst...

Babst Calland: Environmental Advocacy Groups Call for National Methane Emission Standards

By Holly A. Pisanelli On September 18, 2014, sixteen of the nation’s largest environmental advocacy groups joined forces in a letter to President Barack Obama calling for national standards aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The letter urged the U.S. Environmental...