Steptoe & Johnson: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Grants Appeal of Butler Case

By Russell L. Schetroma On April 3, 2012 in Butler v. Charles Powers Estate ex rel. Warren, 760 MAL 2011, 2012 Pa. LEXIS 716 (Pa. Apr. 3, 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Pennsylvania Supreme Court entered a per curiam order granting an Allowance of Appeal of the...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Issues First Authorization to Export LNG from Domestic Production

By Kurt L. Krieger On April 16, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC and Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. proposal to site, construct and operate facilities at Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to export up to 2.2 billion cubic feet per year of liquefied natural...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania PUC Issues Order for Unconventional Well Impact Fees

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland On May 10, 2012, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission ("PUC") issued its final implementation order for Chapter 23 of the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee Act (Act 13). The PUC has regulatory authority under Chapters 23 and 33 of Act...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: New Ohio Rules Affect Well Construction

By James C. Carpenter and Katerina E. Milenkovski May was a busy month for lawmakers in Ohio. Last month, a legislative panel approved new rules for the construction drilling wells in the state, and the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 315 aimed at regulating oil and gas companies. The new regulations...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia Ranked Globally in Petroleum Survey

By Kurt Krieger West Virginia ranked tenth, down from sixth in 2011; Ohio ranked 14th, down from second; and Pennsylvania ranked 34th, an improvement from 65th place in 2011 in the sixth annual Fraser Institute Global Petroleum Survey, published by the Canada-based think tank. Out of 147 jurisdictions...

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: Pennsylvania Court Throws Out Zoning Provisions Governing Marcellus Shale Activities

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland In a 4-3 decision [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down portions of the state's new law - dubbed Act 13 - governing Marcellus shale activities as unconstitutional. In their decision...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W. Va. DEP Issues Modified Oil and Gas Horizontal Well Rule

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection filed a modified version of 35 CSR , Series 8, the agency's new oil and gas horizontal well legislative rule, with the Secretary of State on September 14, 2012. The modified rule includes a response to comments previously filed by various industry...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Accepting Data Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing Study

By Armando F. Benincasa In an update on its study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would be accepting data and analyses from the public to supplement data which it is already collecting and...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Supreme Court Rules Surface Owners Have No Right to Appeal Well Work Permits

By Armando Benincasa and Bridget Furbee [On Nov. 21] the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued an important decision regarding whether surface owners have a right to appeal well work permits issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in the state's circuit courts...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Considering Quarterly Reporting and Disclosure of Every Physical Natural Gas Transaction

By Kurt Krieger On November 15, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI") - a pre-cursor to a possible notice of proposed rulemaking - seeking comments on whether it should require quarterly reporting and delayed public disclosure...

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: West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Rules in Gas Utility Case

By Lori A. Dawkins and Allison J. Farrell The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals just issued an important decision for all natural gas utilities with operations in West Virginia with its Memorandum Decision No.11-1511 (Harrison County 10C391). In this decision, issued February 11, 2013, the state's...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Power Line Rights of Way - FERC Approves New Vegetation Management Rules

By Kurt L. Krieger and Nora C. Price On March 21, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") approved new rules for managing vegetation along power line rights of way. The purpose of the approved modifications to existing electric reliability standards is to ensure the continued...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reaffirms Dunham Rule

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland In a unanimous opinion ( Butler v. Charles Power Estate , No. 27 MAP 2012) by Justice Baer issued April 24, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed the Dunham Rule, holding that a reservation of minerals in a deed does not reserve the gas in...