Monthly Archives: April 2014

Stray Gas Migration – Fact vs Fiction

One of the more serious issues confronting state regulatory agencies, particularly in the Marcellus Shale play, has been addressing the question “can these shale gas wells create new pathways for gas to contaminate private water wells”.  The concern is that once gas enters a water well it has a direct route into the dwelling via… Read More »

USFWS Snubs State Natural Resources Agencies: Northern Long Eared Bat ESA Listing Proposal

There is a growing concern about USFWS action relative to the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) that speaks to the common dilemma, state versus federal.  It was the state natural resource professionals who identified the impacts of White Nose Syndrome on bat populations in the United States and it is the states that have continued the… Read More »

WVDEP Revisions to the De Minimus Table within the Voluntary Remediation & Redevelopment Rule

The West Virginia 2014 Legislative session resulted in approved revisions to the De Minimis table 60-3B in the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Voluntary Remediation & Redevelopment Rule.  The De Minimis table establishes cleanup standards that do not present a substantial risk to human health or ecological receptors and is used for voluntary… Read More »

New Drilling Regulations Imposed in Ohio to Address Potential Seismic Activity

On April, 11, 2014, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced that it would be imposing new permit terms and conditions for drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The new policies are in response to the finding of state geologists researching recent seismic events in northeastern Ohio that show what they… Read More »

EPA Mercury Rule Upheld by Divided Court

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the nation’s first-ever national standards requiring power plants to cut emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollution.  The EPA rules require coal utilities to cut at least 90% of their emissions of mercury and require the installation of scrubber technology to reduce mercury emissions.

Oklahoma Sues Fish & Wildlife Service, Kansas Joins

On March 17, 2014, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, filed suit in Tulsa against the U.S. Interior Department and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS).  The lawsuit is an important escalation in the fight of states and industry members against federal consent decrees and settlements of Endangered Species Act cases with non-governmental environmental organizations.  The… Read More »

U.S. Energy Exports Put(in) a Punch

In a prior post, I mentioned the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and long lines at gas stations.  The public consternation from this crisis led Congress to enact legislation prohibiting the export of crude oil.  This prohibition did not include natural gas.  Until recently, the domestic energy supply and demand curve made it more likely… Read More »

W. V. Legislature Passes H.B. 107

On March 14, 2014, the W.V. Legislature passed H.B. 107, which amended the Solid Waste Management Act (W. Va. Code §§22-15-8 and 22-15-11) to allow for the receipt of additional drilling waste at certain commercial solid waste facilities in excess of the facility’s existing tonnage limit, if certain conditions are met.  The legislation imposes an… Read More »

Obama’s EPA holds the Ultimate Weapon in the Continuing War on Coal: Post Permit Authority to Revoke an Issued 404 Permit

The United States Supreme Court in an order denying certiorari effectively affirmed the EPA’s authority to exercise its “Veto” power to revoke or modify an issued permit. The U.S. Supreme Court in Mingo Logan Coal v. EPA Appeal No. 13-599 today denied the appeal filed by Mingo-Logan Coal Company (a subsidiary of Arch Coal Company). … Read More »