Archives: Ohio DNR

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State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations are preempted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR’s) authority to issue oil and gas drilling permits under R.C. Chapter … Continue Reading

Youngstown, Ohio, Contractor Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Wastewater Dumping Scheme

We previously reported on the federal criminal and State of Ohio enforcement actions arising from the release of tens of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing waste into a Youngstown, Ohio, area tributary by Hard Rock Excavating (Hard Rock) during late 2012 and early 2013.  On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Nugent handed Hard … Continue Reading

Ohio Natural Gas Production Reaches Historic Levels

Natural gas production in Ohio nearly doubled last year largely because of a surge in hydraulic fracturing operations in the state.  Speaking at a conference earlier this month about oil and gas development in the state, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer said the amount of natural gas extracted in Ohio … Continue Reading

Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small earthquakes near Youngstown, Ohio. The ODNR’s new rules require companies drilling within 3 miles of a known fault or an area of seismic … Continue Reading

Oral Argument Recap: Ohio Supreme Court Considers Home Rule in Challenge to Zoning Ordinances Restricting Drilling

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held oral argument to determine the scope of Ohio’s constitutional guarantee of municipal “home rule.”  The case—brought by the city of Munroe Falls, Ohio against Beck Energy Corp. for violations of its local zoning laws—concerns the constitutionality of Ohio Revised Code § 1509.02, which grants the Ohio Department of … Continue Reading

ODNR Confirms Hydraulic Fracturing in Ohio Has Not Contaminated Groundwater; Plans to Propose Rules Authorizing Impoundments

A recent article published in the Akron Beacon Journal indicates (click here) that of the 183 water-well complaints received by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) between 2010 and mid-October 2013, “only six water supplies were impacted by drilling over the nearly four-year period.”  By phone, Mark Bruce, a spokesman from the Division of … Continue Reading

Local Ohio Communities Allied in Defense of Ohio’s Home-Rule, Oil and Gas Showdown To Be Held in Ohio Supreme Court

The litigation over the constitutionality of Ohio’s law R.C.1509.02 granting sole authority to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to regulate activities associated with oil and gas exploration and production has reached the Ohio Supreme Court. On September 6, 2013, the cities of Broadview Heights, Euclid, Mansfield, and North Royalton (the “Amici”) filed an amici … Continue Reading

Federal Agency Puts Plan to Lease Mineral Rights in Ohio Forest on Hold

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has temporarily delayed its plans to auction off the mineral rights to over 4,500 acres of property in the Blue Rock State Forest in Muskingum County, Ohio. The decision came just hours after news of the auction went public, catching many observers by surprise, including officials from the … 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

Deja Vu All Over Again: The Ohio Senate Inserts TENORM Provisions Back Into the State’s Budget Bill

The Ohio Senate released its version of the state budget bill—Am. Sub. HB 59—on June 4.  As previously reported by the Shale Blog, the Governor’s original budget proposal included provisions for the disposal of TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material).  The Ohio House removed those provisions from the budget bill amid strong opposition from both … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler Attorneys Presenting On Shale And Safety Issues At OSBA Seminar

This week several BakerHostetler attorneys will be participating in the Ohio State Bar Association’s (OSBA) 28th Annual Ohio Environment, Energy, and Resources Law Seminar.  The seminar is presented by the OSBA Environmental Law Committee and the Natural Resources Law Committee.  It runs Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27, at the Cherry Valley Lodge in … Continue Reading

Ohio Legislators Strip Radioactive Drilling Waste, Severance Tax Provisions From Budget

Yesterday we discussed the grim prospects for the NORM and TENORM provisions in Ohio Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget. Both industry and environmentalists opposed the provisions, and state legislators recently expressed their desire to address the issue in separate legislation. The Ohio House of Representatives released its proposed changes to HB 59 yesterday and, as … Continue Reading

Ohio Legislative Proposal Regulating Radioactive Drilling Wastes To Be Delayed Until Fall

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives in early February as HB 59. Our prior analysis of the original bill can be found here.  HB 59 includes amendments requested by three Ohio agencies that would govern the disposal of drilling wastes containing naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler Shale Symposium: Political and Policy Trends in 2013

On Thursday, March 7, BakerHostetler’s Shale Team will host a panel discussion on political and policy trends related to shale development at The Houstonian Hotel.  Michael G. Oxley — former Congressman and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, former member of the Energy House Committee and co-author of the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 — will moderate … Continue Reading

Ohio Court: State Oil And Gas Law Pre-Empts Local Drilling Regulations

The nationwide oil and gas boom has exposed a rift in the relationship between state and local governments seeking to regulate shale drilling and development.  This tension has been playing out in several key shale states – for example, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will soon issue its opinion in the Robinson Township case, which will … 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

Ohio Budget Bill Restructures Severance, Income, Sales, and Services Taxes

Recently this blog has analyzed various aspects of HB 59, including Ohio Governor John Kasich’s relaunched severance tax proposals.  Expanding on the tax implications of HB 59, BakerHostetler’s Tax Group has prepared a comprehensive summary of the Governor’s overall budget and tax proposals. This analysis provides very helpful context to Gov. Kasich’s proposed severance taxes on new, … Continue Reading

Ohio Agencies Propose Bill Regulating Radioactive Drilling Wastes

Last week we discussed the release of Ohio Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget, in which the Governor proposed changes to the state’s severance taxes for oil and gas wells.  On Monday the budget was introduced as a new bill (HB 59) in the Ohio House of Representatives.  But also included in HB 59 were a … 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

Ohio Governor Relaunches Severance Tax Plan In Budget Proposal

Yesterday Ohio Governor John Kasich unveiled his proposed budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 at an hour-long press conference.  The Governor’s proposal, a summary of which can be found here, contained a comprehensive plan to enact new severance taxes for certain categories of new hydraulically fractured horizontal wells in the state.  By way of background, … Continue Reading

Ohio Supreme Court: Oil and Gas Commission Cannot Review DNR Permit Decisions

Yesterday the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, ruled that the state’s Oil and Gas Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear appeals of drilling permits issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The Oil & Gas Commission is a five-member advisory council that hears appeals from persons claiming to be aggrieved or adversely … 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

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