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Babst Calland: U.S. EPA Proposes Amendments to Air Rules Affecting Oil and Gas Industry

By Meredith Odato Graham [On July 17] the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published proposed amendments to federal air regulations at 40 C.F.R. 60, Subpart OOOO (Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution). Subpart OOOO was first promulgated...

Babst Calland: Commonwealth Court Issues Decision On Remaining Issues In Act 13 Case

By Lawrence H. Baumiller In its far-reaching decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], which was issued on December 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated several critical provisions of Act 13. Additionally, the Supreme Court remanded...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Dormant Mineral Act Case

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court will review a key question of state law concerning application of the Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). In Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC , the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified the following questions...

Babst Calland: Proposed Pa. Legislation Seeks to Require Use of Steel Products Produced in U.S.

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Two pieces of proposed legislation were introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday, July 31. Each has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 1458 , if passed, would amend Title 58 by requiring that steel casings (or other...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Production Hits New High in First Half of Year

By Elena L. Rorabaugh As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Pennsylvania’s reported natural gas production in the first six months of 2014 reached 1.9 trillion cubic feet. Production is up from 1.7 trillion cubic feet reported over the second half of 2013 and 1.4 trillion over the first...

Babst Calland: Public Utility Commission Appeals Pennsylvania Act 13 Ruling

By Lawrence H. Baumiller ‘ The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission appealed the Commonwealth Court’s July 17, 2014 Opinion and Order in the Act 13 case, which resolved a number of issues remanded by the Supreme Court [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subwscribers ]. Review...

Babst Calland: Colleges in Western Pennsylvania Offer Programs Geared Toward Energy Industry

By Matthew L. Lambach The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that colleges located in Western Pennsylvania are creating programs to prepare students for jobs in the energy industry. For example, Kennedy Township’s Rosedale Technical Institute (soon to be re-named Rosedale Technical College) currently...

Babst Calland: Drilling Severance Tax Bill Proposed In The Pennsylvania House

By Elena L. Rorabaugh A bill that would amend taxation on oil and gas drilling was referred to the Pennsylvania House Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on Monday. House Bill 2508, which was introduced by Margo Davidson (Democrat, Delaware County) and others, seeks to impose a severance...

Babst Calland: Pa. Zoning Hearing Board Erred When It Denied Application for Natural Gas Compressor Station

By Alana E. Fortna On September 26, 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in favor of MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. MarkWest had purchased a 71.5 acre parcel of undeveloped land in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania...

Babst Calland: Mountaineer Keystone LLC Finalizes Acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times on October 15, 2014, Wexford-based Marcellus driller Mountaineer Keystone LLC has finalized its acquisition of joint-venture partner PDC Mountaineer LLC for a reported sale price of $500 million. PDC Mountaineer was created in 2009...

Babst Calland: Bills Affecting Production Reporting And Lease Termination Pass Pennsylvania House and Senate

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Two bills primarily sponsored by PA Representative Tina Pickett (Republican, Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) have recently passed the State House and Senate. House Bill (HB) 2278 , Unconventional Well Report Act, would require the operator of an unconventional well to file a monthly...

Babst Calland: Ohio’s 5th District Court of Appeals Weighs in on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

By Michael T. Altvater Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently held that the 1989 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act applies to current disputes concerning ownership of severed mineral estates. The court in Wendt v. Dickerson followed previous rulings from the Seventh District...

Babst Calland: Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act Signed Into Law

By Matthew L. Lambach On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 402, also known as the Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act, into law. The Act imposes a duty on a lessee to deliver a surrender document to a lessor within 30 days of the...

Babst Calland: Unconventional Well Report Act Signed Into Law in Pennsylvania

By Michael K. Reer On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 2278, The Unconventional Well Report Act, into law. The Act requires operators of unconventional wells to submit monthly production reports to the Department of Environmental Protection. The change is to revise...

Babst Calland: Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Fox Business reported that Sunoco Logistics Partners will invest $2.5 billion in the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to an East Coast port. Mariner East 2 will connect processing plants in Pennsylvania, West...

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: 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...

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...

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...

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...