Archives: Disposal Wells

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Texas Railroad Commission Adopts Rules for Disposal Wells in Potential High-Risk Seismic Areas

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, the Texas Railroad Commission unanimously adopted amendments to rules concerning disposal wells in areas that have experienced or are likely to experience seismic activity. As covered by the North America Shale Blog in August, the amendments were proposed in response to questions from residents in towns sitting atop the Barnett … Continue Reading

TX House Subcommittee Hears Testimony from Railroad Commission Seismologist on Proposed Rules Related to Disposal Wells in High-Risk Seismic Areas

Following the Texas Railroad Commission’s recent proposal for additional rules related to disposal wells in “high-risk” seismic areas, on Monday, August 25, members of the Texas House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity heard testimony from Dr. Craig Pearson, the seismologist hired by the Railroad Commission to investigate the possible correlation between seismic events and oil and … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Set to Hear Case Involving Subsurface Trespass Claim

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear a suit that could determine whether landowners in the state have a cause of action for trespass when water from underground injection wells migrates onto their property.  The Court’s decision in Environmental Processing Systems LC v. FPL Farming Ltd. No. 12-0905 could prompt oil and gas … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Drillers May Soon Face Tightened Environmental Regulations

Oil and gas drillers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation may soon find themselves subject to more stringent environmental protection standards under regulations proposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“the Department”).  The Department announced on August 27, 2013 that the proposed regulations were approved by the state’s Environmental Quality Board.  The proposal now moves … Continue Reading

Texas Railroad Commission Amends Fracturing Fluid Recycling Rules to Encourage Water Conservation

Under rules adopted by the Texas Railroad Commission (Commission) on March 26, 2013, effective April 15, 2013, Texas hydraulic fracturing operators may recycle fracturing fluids on their own leased or owned land used for fracturing activities or may transfer the fluids for recycling on the land of another operator without a permit. According to the … Continue Reading

Federal Charges Filed for Ohio Drilling Waste Release; Ohio Legislation Proposes Increased Penalties

Early last week, we covered the response of Ohio regulators to an alleged release of hydraulic fracturing waste into a Youngstown, Ohio area tributary by Hard Rock Excavating (Hard Rock), an affiliate of oil and gas player D&L Energy Group (D&L).  In addition to the state regulatory enforcement measures against Hard Rock and D&L, the U.S. … Continue Reading

Discharge of Drilling Waste in Ohio Triggers Civil and Criminal Enforcement Actions; Heightens Scrutiny of State Regulatory Practices

A release of approximately 40,000 gallons of oil and gas operations waste into a Youngstown, Ohio area storm drain flowing into the Mahoning River is igniting a call for tighter regulatory oversight and more transparent emergency response practices by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). ODNR investigators … Continue Reading

Maryland Governor Proposes $1.5 Million Funding For Hydraulic Fracturing Study

As we have discussed in prior posts, Maryland has in place a de facto moratorium on shale exploration and drilling.  Responding to inquiries about drilling into Marcellus shale formations in western Maryland, in 2011 Governor Martin O’Malley issued an executive order directing state agencies to conduct a comprehensive study of hydraulic fracturing’s short-term, long-term, and cumulative … Continue Reading

Leaked New York Department of Health Report: Hydraulic Fracturing Can Be Safely Conducted

A previously confidential New York state agency report analyzing the human health impact of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) operations released to a limited number of media outlets last Thursday concludes that HVHF can be performed safely under the state’s proposed regulations. The leaked February 2012 health assessment is a supplement to the comprehensive Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), a study … Continue Reading

Legislators In Ohio General Assembly Propose Numerous New Shale Bills As Close Of Session Nears

The Ohio General Assembly closes its two-year term later this month.  The waning days of the term, falling between the November election and the end of the year, are known as the “lame-duck” session.  During this session, legislators have introduced a flurry of bills relating to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas drilling.   Many of these … Continue Reading

Research On Flowback Recycling, Wastewater Treatment Commencing In Ohio

As shale drilling sites continue coming online in the Utica Shale region, the demand for alternative means of managing the wastes produced by drilling operations has never been stronger.  In response to that demand, significant studies are beginning in Ohio that are designed to tackle these issues.  Battelle Memorial Institute recently announced that it is … Continue Reading

New York DEC Releases Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations, Extends Rulemaking Process

Yesterday the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed with the New York Department of State a revised draft of its proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing in the state.  According to reporting by the New York Daily News and other outlets, DEC faced a deadline of yesterday by which to file the draft rules in order to … Continue Reading

Ohio, Pennsylvania Issue New Injection Well Permits

In the past several weeks, state regulators in Ohio and Pennsylvania have begun to approve long-stalled permit applications for proposed disposal wells.  The wells, known in regulatory parlance as Class II underground injection wells, could be used to dispose of flowback wastes generated from hydraulically-fractured shale wells. Two weeks ago, the Ohio Department of Natural … Continue Reading

Texas Proposed New Rules Encouraging On-Site Flowback Recycling

The Texas Railroad Commission on September 28 published amendments to its rules for hydraulic fracturing operations that would allow drillers to recycle water and flowback fluids on-site without needing to obtain a permit.  The proposed rules also detail guidelines and permitting requirements for off-site commercial recyclers of flowback fluids.  The Railroad Commission is receiving comments … Continue Reading

Ohio EPA Issues Advisory As To Landfilling of Drilling Wastes

On September 18, 2012, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (OEPA) Division of Materials and Waste Management issued an advisory to Ohio solid waste landfills as to how they should handle wastes associated with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.  The advisory addresses three types of wastes that in some instances can be disposed of in solid … Continue Reading

Activist Groups Lobby For Local Control of Ohio Shale Operations and Waste Disposal

Throughout Ohio, environmental groups and community activists increasingly are pressing local units of government to enact local “bans” of hydraulic fracturing and deep injection disposal wells that can accept well flowback.  For example, on August 2 the Cincinnati City Council voted to bar injection wells associated with the disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing; Yellow … Continue Reading

Ohio Governor Issues Executive Order Authorizing Deep Injection Well Regulations

Late yesterday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an emergency executive order granting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) authority to implement new rules for proposed deep injection wells, used to dispose of drilling wastewater (also known as brine) from Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling.  Under the order, the chief of ODNR’s division of oil and … Continue Reading

NRC Study: Hydraulic Fracturing Not a Significant Earthquake Risk

On Friday, June 15, the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) released a report titled Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies.  The report, prepared by Congressional request through the U.S. Department of Energy, analyzes whether a linkage exists between seismic activity and the injection into the earth of fluids related to energy production (e.g., hydraulic fracturing, disposal via … Continue Reading

New York Senate Environmental Committee Chairman Introduces 5 Bills Addressing Wastewater from Hydraulic Fracturing

New York State Senator Mark Grisanti, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, introduced five bills concerning the disposal of wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing process. As currently drafted, the bills would: Prohibit POTWs from accepting wastewater associated with the exploration, delineation, development, or production of natural gas (Senate Bill 6893); Prohibit the use … Continue Reading

Ohio Senate Bill 315 Proposes Comprehensive Well Regulations

On Thursday, March 22, state Sen. Shannon Jones introduced Senate Bill 315 (SB 315), which mirrors many of the well regulation proposals advanced by the administration of Gov. John Kasich.  SB 315 contains numerous provisions concerning the parameters that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) would need to evaluate in order to issue permits for … Continue Reading

Ohio DNR Report: Youngstown Quakes Linked to Injection Well; Revised Regulations for Brine Disposal Forthcoming

On March 9, 2012, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued a preliminary report summarizing its findings as to the relationship between a series of low-magnitude earthquakes near Youngstown, Ohio (that culminated in a December 31, 2011 4.0-magnitude seismic event) and the operation since late 2010 of a class II deep injection well near a fault … Continue Reading