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Babst Calland: West Virginia Office of Oil and Gas Proposes New Rule to Regulate Horizontal Wells

On June 28, 2012, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), Office of Oil and Gas (OOG), proposed a new rule, 35 CSR 8, to regulate horizontal well development. This action by the OOG is the latest in a series of measures taken by West Virginia lawmakers in response to the growing...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Invalidates Act 13 Local Ordinance Limitations

In a 4-3 decision, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down portions of Act 13 of 2012, which had placed limits on the authority of local governments to regulate oil and gas industry activities. In its July 26, 2012 ruling on a legal challenge brought by seven municipalities and others, the Court...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: DOE Study: Fracking Didn't Contaminate Water

By Brian J. Pulito A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a Western Pennsylvania drilling site. Richard Hammack, a geologist with the Department of Energy’s...