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Babst Calland: West Virginia University Announces Launch of Field Laboratory for the Long-Term Study of Shale Gas Production Operations

By Christopher "Kip" Power West Virginia University recently announced that it will be establishing the “Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory,” at a site in the Morgantown Industrial Park near the WVU campus. The laboratory is being funded as part of a five-year...

Babst Calland: Labor and Employment Professor’s Study Shows that the Marcellus Shale has Boosted the Construction Industry

By Marc J. Felezzola According to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Robert Bruno , a labor and employment relations professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has determined that the shale fields in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia are a strong...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Bans New Gas Leases For Commonwealth-Owned Lands

By Nicholas J. Habursky [On Jan. 29], Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order banning new oil and gas leases on public land owned by the Commonwealth. This order ended the efforts of former Governor Tom Corbett to expand oil and gas drilling below...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Operator Prevails in Air Aggregation Case

By Meredith Odato Graham {On Feb. 23}, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of a natural gas operator in a closely-watched case involving air aggregation issues [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In 2011...

Babst Calland: EIA Reports on Natural Gas Storage Capacity

By Holly A. Pisanelli The U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a report indicating that the overall natural gas storage capacity in the lower 48 states was relatively unchanged between November 2013 and November 2014. The EIA measures natural gas storage capacity in November...

New Federal Fracking Rules Require Chemical Disclosure, Groundwater Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on March 20 announced new regulations for hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands that will require companies to disclose the chemicals they use and mandate procedures for storing fracking fluid wastewater. U...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ongoing Political And Legal Developments Impact Marcellus Operations In Pennsylvania

While some jurisdictions (Maryland, New Jersey; municipalities in California and Colorado) are still considering whether to permit or ban hydraulic fracturing, operators in Pennsylvania need not be too concerned about a statewide moratorium anytime soon. However, operators should be aware of ongoing...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia DOL May Require PEs Working Shale Gas Development To Obtain Contractor License

By Paul A. Konstanty What does this mean to you? If you are currently a Professional Engineer (PE) working in the Marcellus shale, you may now also need to be licensed as a Contractor in the State of West Virginia. Failure to comply means you could be faced with a Cease and Desist Order from the Department...

DLA Piper Energy Alert: Long-Awaited Regulations for Fracking on Federal Land: What They Mean for Business

By: Robert J. Alessi and Jeffrey D. Kuhn This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US.S. and internationally. On March 20, 2015, the US Department of the Interior’s...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania DEP Releases 2013 Emissions Inventory for Natural Gas Industry

By Michael K. Reer Earlier this week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released the 2013 air emissions inventory for the natural gas industry. Operators submit emissions data to DEP on an annual basis. Compared to 2012, the 2013 inventory includes data from 1,590 additional...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Reaffirms Decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp.

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its prior decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp . [ enhanced opinion available to lexis subscribers ]. In Belmont Hills Country Club v. Beck Energy Corp. [ enhanced opinion ] and Bentley v. Beck Energy Corp [ enhanced opinion...

Babst Calland: New York Issues Final Environmental Review on High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

By Michael C. Murphy | On May 13, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released its Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, signaling the completion of its environmental review of...

Texas Governor Signs Law Preempting Local Fracking Regulations

AUSTIN, Texas — (Mealey’s) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 18 signed a bill that preempts regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the city level, overriding the fracking ban that was passed last year in a referendum that was approved in the City of Denton. Property Rights In a statement...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Proposes Zero Discharge Rule For Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

On April 7, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed regulations which would create pretreatment standards of performance for existing and new sources of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. EPA is proposing to establish a “zero discharge”...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Creates Task Force on Pipeline Infrastructure Development

By Joshua F. Hall On May 27, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the formation of a task force to help the Commonwealth, the natural gas industry and communities partner for the development of new pipeline infrastructure to allow natural gas and related byproducts to more effectively reach...

Oklahoma Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Fracking Bans

OKLAHOMA CITY — (Mealey’s) Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on June 1 signed a law that establishes the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as the “sole regulator” of the state’s oil and gas industry and prohibits local municipalities from passing bans on hydraulic fracturing operations...

DLA Piper: EPA Report Finds No Evidence Fracking Causes Widespread Impacts On Drinking Water

By: Robert J. Alessi and Jeffrey D. Kuhn | This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally. The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a...

Ballard Spahr LLP: Penn Study Unlikely To Result In Flood Of Fracking Lawsuits

By Harry Weiss and Philip N. Yannella | A recently released study from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for gas and oil and cardiac and neurological illnesses. Whether the report triggers a rash of lawsuits is an open...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

By David E. Northrop The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites. The rules, codified at OAC 1501:9-2-01, 1501...

EPA Inspector General Reports on Hydraulic Fracturing Regulators

By Michael K. Reer The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report entitled, “ Enhanced EPA Oversight and Action Can Further Protect Water Resources From the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing .” The report evaluates how...

Babst Calland: Application for Mountain Valley Pipeline Filed with FERC

By Nikolas E. Tysiak According to the Washington Observer-Reporter , a formal application for the Mountain Valley Pipeline was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) last week. The pipeline will extend 301 miles and connect the shale gas fields of northwestern West...

Babst Calland: Federal Court Invalidates Portions of a Local Ordinance, Which Banned the Use of Underground Injection Wells

By Alana E. Fortna On October 14, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania invalidated several provisions of a Grant Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania local ordinance that was intended to prevent an oil and gas operator from operating an injection well that...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. Federal Judge Invalidates Ordinance Governing Oil and Gas Waste Disposal

A federal judge invalidated portions of a “Community Bill of Rights Ordinance” that banned the disposal of waste from oil and gas operations and eliminated the legal rights of corporations in Grant Township, Pennsylvania [ lexis.com subscribers can read the enhanced opinion | Lexis Advance...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Issues Order Addressing Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rate Applications for Natural Gas Storage

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued Opinion No. 538 denying ANR Storage Company’s (“ANRS”) application for market-based rates (“MBR”) for natural gas storage service. FERC noted that the matter was the first fully-litigated proceeding where a gas storage provider has sought...