Category Archives: Environmental

EPA Withdraws “Once In, Always In” Policy for the Classification of Major Sources of HAPs

In a memorandum dated January 25, 2018, and authored by newly appointed Assistant Administrator, Bill Wehrum, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) withdrew its “once in, always in” policy for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants (“HAPs”) under section 112 of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”).

Health Impacts From Shale Gas Development – Many Studies Are Inconclusive

A favorite tactic and an often used assertion made by the anti-fracing groups is that there are documented health impacts associated with those living near and around unconventional oil and gas activities. The alleged health impacts include cancer, asthma, headaches, nose bleeds and birth related issues.  A June, 2017 report by Resources for the Future… Read More »

Environmental Regulatory Reform in West Virginia

On June 30, 2017, Kathy Beckett, Chair of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Environmental Committee filed a letter with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) invoking the 2016 legislation, S.B. 619.  That legislation invited all executive agencies with rule-making authority to review and evaluate all state rules, guidelines, policies and recommendations to… Read More »

Environmentalism and Financial Risk – The New Battlefront

While environmental activists continue to challenge federal and state governments and agencies over their control and regulation of fossil fuels – particularly any actions they perceive as lessening restrictions on the development and use of fossil fuels – other tactics are becoming favored options – hitting the industry in the pocketbook.   These tactics include: Persuading… Read More »

Cloaked in President Trump’s ‘Energy Independence’ Executive Order, the Environmental Protection Agency Deregulated Fugitive Emissions from Oil and Gas Well Pads

Earlier this year, President Trump visited the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency for a particular purpose. Flanked by the newly-appointed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, President Trump placed himself at the center of the room, signed a large leather-bound document, and then presented the page bearing his signature for the entire world to see.  With… Read More »

While Trump Cools Federal Efforts to Move Forward with Climate Change Some States Heat Up

On May 18, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted the request by the Trump administration to delay lawsuits involving the proposed regulations of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. American Petroleum Institute (API) et al v. EPA et al, (No. 13-1108).  The Trump administration is reviewing numerous… Read More »

Wind Energy Sailing Across the Great Plains

On March 6, 2017, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota all sourced more than 20% of their electricity generation from wind power during 2016 based on its review of new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In the same article, AWEA reported that… Read More »

Appalachian Storage Hub Discussion Advances

WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher Urges Action.  On May 3, 2017 at the WV Manufacturer’s Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher spoke of the need for industry professionals to work alongside government officials to realize the full potential of shale gas.  “I suggest you have a job to do,” said Thrasher. … Read More »

West Virginia Submits Clean Water Act §401 Water Quality Certification Requirements

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has issued its final Clean Water Act §401 water quality certification (WQC) for Nationwide general permits (NWPs) on April 13, 2017. The WVDEP is required to certify that NWPs do not degrade state water quality through the § 401 WQC.   These §401 conditions must be implemented into… Read More »

PA General Air Permits for Natural Gas Operations – A Future of More Delays

Back in January of this year I posted an article on this site that reviewed the PA DEP’s plans for initiating a new general air permit to address methane emissions from natural gas facilities.  This proposal called for an elimination of the existing Exemption 38 for future facilities and replacing it with a new GP-5A. … Read More »