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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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania DEP Repurposes Rules for Oil and Gas Wells – Industry Concerns Increase

By Gary E. Slagel | As was previously noted on this blog site, the PA Department of Environmental Protection embarked on an effort several years ago to revise its Chapter 78 rules pertaining to the permitting and environmental issues associated with oil and gas operations. These proposed rules were...

Babst Calland: First Installment of Quadrennial Energy Review Recommends Investment in Energy Infrastructure

By Holly A. Pisanelli The White House recently released a report from the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) , focusing on U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure. In January 2014, President Obama directed the administration to conduct the QER as part of his Climate Action...

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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 Will Become Effective June 24

By Sarah M. Lange and J. Kevin West e | The Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 was enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2015 Legislative Session and will take effect on June 24, 2015. The legislation provides regulatory certainty to the Commonwealth’s oil and gas industry...

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...

Natural Gas Well Owner Pays $5 Million To Settle Pennsylvania Suit Filed By Family Of Well Worker Killed In Explosion

Chevron Appalachia, LLC owned and operated natural gas wells near Dunkard, Pennsylvania, including the Lanco #7H well site. On Feb. 11, 2014, Ian R. McKee was hired by Cameron International Corp., a company that was in turn hired by Chevron to perform services at Lanco #7H well site. A violent natural...

State Net Capitol Journal: Renewable Energy Offsets Collapse Of Coal

The U.S. coal industry has endured a precipitous decline in recent years. A Duke University study indicated that the industry shed 49,530 jobs between 2008 and 2012. U.S. renewable energy, meanwhile, has surged. The Duke study found that wind and solar energy generation provided more than 79,000 direct...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

By David E. Northrop Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64 , signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code. The changes and additions take effect on September 29...

Babst Calland: Gov. Tomblin Forms The West Virginia Commission On Oil And Natural Gas Industry Safety

By Briana J. Marino On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety. Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission is charged with “reviewing...

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...