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Texas Senate Holds Public Hearing on EPA Regulations

On Sept. 28, 2016, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development held a public hearing on one of the committee’s interim charges for the 84th Legislative Session. The topic for discussion at the hearing centered on the impact and challenges Texas faces in implementing proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including, but not … Continue Reading

The Fight to Stop the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” Continues in the D.C. Circuit, Amid an Uncertain Future for Its Presumed Ultimate Destination – the Supreme Court

On February 19, 2016, 27 states, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and over 150 different organizations and entities (the “Petitioners”) filed their joint Opening Brief on Core Legal Issues (the “Opening Brief”), related to their petitions for review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final agency action titled “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing … Continue Reading

Thirty States and Numerous Other Interested Parties Seek an Immediate Supreme Court Stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

On January 26, 2016, 29 states and state agencies, including Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Mississippi (the “29 States”), submitted an application (the “29 States Application”) to the United States Supreme Court seeking an immediate stay of the October 23, 2015, final rule of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) titled “Carbon … Continue Reading

EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court

On November 17, 2015, Pittsburgh-based energy company EQT Production Co. (“EQT”) presented its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting it set aside a February 20, 2015, ruling of Commonwealth Court Judge Rochelle S. Friedman. Specifically, she had held EQT could not bypass the state’s administrative Environmental Hearing Board (“EHB”) stage in its efforts … Continue Reading

EPA Announces New Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule for Oil and Gas Sector

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new rules for reporting greenhouse gas emissions that will apply to the oil and gas sector, part of EPA’s plan to institute a comprehensive strategy for dealing with methane in oil and gas production. The proposed rules would alter the greenhouse emissions reporting program first mandated … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Tells EPA Its Policy on Aggregating Sources for Clean Air Act Permitting Violates EPA’s Own Regulations

Following a ruling by the D.C. Circuit, EPA may no longer consider interrelatedness in determining adjacency when making source determination decisions in its Title V or New Source Review permitting decisions under the Clean Air Act.  The decision, which vacates EPA’s policy directive Applicability of the Summit Decision to EPA Title V and NSR Source … Continue Reading

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Fracking Fluid Disclosure Rules

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency took the first step toward requiring drillers to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations, releasing an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” seeking public comment on the topic. The EPA has not yet drafted a proposed regulation, but said in the notice that it will consider both mandatory … Continue Reading

EPA Releases Revised Guidance on Use of Diesel Fuels in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

On February 11, 2014, the EPA released its long awaited revised permitting guidance for wells that use diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities. The guidance details the EPA’s view on how to implement provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which amended the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) definition of “underground injection” to specifically … Continue Reading

Industry Groups Petition D.C. Circuit for Review of Revisions to Air Pollution Standards for Oil & Gas Production Sources

On November 22, industry groups filed in the D.C. Circuit five petitions for review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final amendments to new source performance standards (NSPS) governing the oil and natural gas production sector.  The standards impose limits on the emission of volatile organic compounds from gas wells, storage vessels, and other components … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing Divides U.S. Congress

Lawmakers are heavily divided when it comes to the regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Currently, there are twelve bills in Congress that address the regulation of oil and natural gas operations (four in the Senate and eight in the House). On one side are legislators who believe the federal government needs to play a larger role … 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

Environmental Groups Petition EPA for Tougher Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rules

EPA recently posted a March 19, 2013 petition for rulemaking by environmental groups seeking to amend the regulations governing the Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems source category (Subpart W) of EPA’s Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule (Mandatory Reporting Rule), 40 C.F.R. § 98.230 et seq.  The petition seeks three changes to these regulations.   First, the petition … Continue Reading

The EPA Claims it Will More Closely Examine and Assess Ohio’s Oversight of Injection Wells

Deep injection wells have been scattered across American soil for over eighty years.  Many of these wells are used to dispose of liquid wastes.  Traditionally, while there have been some controversies, the practice of disposing of waste in deep injection wells has not garnered significant media attention.  However, in many regions of the country, injection … Continue Reading

Recycling of Frack Water Likely to Grow

In Texas, where hydraulic fracturing operations use up more than fifty percent of water use in certain counties, recycling of frack water could significantly impact the stressed resource. To date, only a small fraction of the water used for hydraulic fracturing is currently recycled.  However, several factors indicate that recycling of frack water will likely … Continue Reading

Climate Change and the Future Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States: President Obama Introduces New Climate Action Plan

Co-authored by: Erin Rodman On June 25, 2013, President Obama released his Climate Action Plan (the Plan) detailing the current administration’s comprehensive strategy to address climate change. The Plan focuses on “three key pillars” of action: reducing domestic carbon pollution, preparing the United States for the impacts of climate change and leading international efforts to … Continue Reading
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