Trump Executive Order Withdraws Obama Administration Actions on Climate Change and Requires Review of Regulations Affecting Energy Sector

On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” with the stated policy of “promot[ing] clean and safe development” of domestic energy resources and ensuring an affordabl(…)

EPA Withdraws Controversial Methane Information Collection Request

Effective March 2, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn the information collection request (ICR) entitled, “Information Collection Effort for Oil and Gas Facilities.”  EPA issued the final ICR in November 2016, requiring(…)

EPA Releases Key Methane Reduction Measures and Final Source Aggregation Rule

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of several highly-anticipated regulatory measures affecting both existing and new emission sources in the oil and natural gas sector.  EPA has released the pre-publication(…)

Administrative Watch: Environmental Groups File Suit Over Absence of Regulation of Oil & Gas Waste

On May 4, 2016, seven environmental groups followed through on a prior threat to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by filing a lawsuit against the EPA in a bid to force the agency to develop tailored rules for the disposal, s(…)

EPA Announces Plan to Regulate Methane from Existing Sources

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the next step in its strategy for reducing methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector: regulating emissions from existing sources.  According to EPA’s fact sheet, the agency wil(…)

EPA Proposes to Revise Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to Address Equipment Leaks

On January 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would amend the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program for the petroleum and natural gas systems source category at 40 CFR Part 98, Su(…)

Federal Court Invalidates Portions of a Local Ordinance, Which Banned the Use of Underground Injection Wells

On October 14, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania invalidated several provisions of a Grant Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania local ordinance that was intended to prevent an oil and gas operator from o(…)

Environmental Groups Plan Suit Over Absence of Regulation of Oil and Gas Waste

On August 26, 2015, seven environmental groups sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a Notice of Intent to Sue the agency in an attempt to force the agency to develop tailored rules for oil and gas wastes under the Resource Conservation(…)

Public Hearings Announced for EPA Air Rules Targeting Oil and Gas Sector

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will host three public hearings in September regarding proposed Clean Air Act rulemaking actions that will affect the oil and gas industry.  Two hearings will be held in Denver and(…)

EPA Announces Rulemaking Proposal to Curb Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally announced its highly-anticipated proposal to regulate methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector.  Specifically, EPA is proposing to amend the New Source Performance Standards (N(…)

EPA Revises Low Pressure Gas Well and Storage Vessel Definitions for NSPS Subpart OOOO

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising important definitions in the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule for the oil and gas sector, NSPS Subpart OOOO, in response to stakeholder petitions.  In a final rule published today,(…)

EPA Inspector General Reports on Hydraulic Fracturing Regulators

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report entitled, “Enhanced EPA Oversight and Action Can Further Protect Water Resources From the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing.”  The repo(…)

Federal Agencies Publish Final Rule to Redefine Waters of the United States

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register a joint final rulemaking to redefine “waters of the United States” and the scope of the federal agencies’ jurisdiction under the Clea(…)

OMB Begins Review of EPA Proposals to Curb Methane Emissions, Define Major Source

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a highly-anticipated proposed rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for interagency review that would address methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector.  E(…)

EPA Proposes Prohibition on Discharge of Unconventional Wastewater to POTWs

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule under the Clean Water Act that would prohibit the discharge of unconventional oil and gas extraction wastewaters to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).  The rule would(…)

Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Rule Sent to White House for Review

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced that they have submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a joint final rule aimed at clarifying which water bodies(…)

USEPA Seeks Small Business Input on Greenhouse Gas Rulemaking for Oil and Gas Sector

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is convening a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to discuss a rulemaking aimed at regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and natural gas sector, as part of the Obama Administration’s methane(…)

EPA Announces Plan to Reduce Methane, VOC Emissions from Oil and Gas Industry

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a fact sheet outlining the agency’s strategy for reducing emissions of methane and ground level ozone-forming pollutants from the oil and natural gas sector.  Release of the EPA strategy is(…)

EPA Inspector General Continues Review of Fracking Rules Over Objections from Senate

The Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Arthur Elkins, has vowed to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of state and federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing. The IG recently responded by letter to early Oc(…)

USEPA Extends Waters of the United States Comment Deadline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has, for a second time, extended the public comment deadline associated with its proposed rule to redefine “waters of the United States” and related terms for purposes of various federal Clean Water Act(…)

House Votes to Thwart USEPA and Army Corps’ ‘Waters of the United States’ Rulemaking

On September 9, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill introduced in response to the ‘Waters of the United States’ Proposed Rule that was prepared jointly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Ag(…)

USEPA Proposes Amendments to Air Rules Affecting Oil and Gas Industry

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published proposed amendments to federal air regulations at 40 C.F.R. 60, Subpart OOOO (Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution).  Subpart(…)

Public Comment Deadlines Extended for Key USEPA Actions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently extended the public comment deadlines associated with its proposed rulemaking to redefine “waters of the United States” for federal Clean Water Act programs and its request for information rega(…)

"Waters of the United States" Rule Open for Public Comment

On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register its proposed rule to define “waters of the United States” and related key terms for purposes of determining the extent of federal agency jurisdiction under t(…)

EPA Seeks Comment on Methane and VOC White Papers

On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released five technical white papers for peer review, each one focusing on a possible source of methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions within the oil and natural gas sect(…)

House Democrats Encourage USEPA Investigations of Alleged Water Contamination

On April 1, 2014, a group of eight U.S. House Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) urging the agency to address alleged water contamination near drilling sites in Dimock, Pennsylvania; Pavillion, Wyoming; and Par(…)

EPA and Army Corps Release Proposed Rule on Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

On March 25, 2014, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the pre-publication version of a proposed rule intended to make the process of identifying “waters of the United States” covered under the Clean Water Act less complicated and m(…)

Ohio EPA Director Resigns

The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Nally, abruptly resigned yesterday after three years on the job. Nally departed his position on short notice and did not give a specific reason for his resignation. Craig Butler, a senior(…)

Revisions to Storage Tank Air Regulations Effective Immediately

Earlier this week, U.S. EPA published final revisions to the New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector (i.e., 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO).  As discussed in a previous post, EPA has made significant changes to the provisions affe(…)

Methane Emissions from Well Sites Found to be Lower than Previously Estimated

Last week the University of Texas, in conjunction with the Environmental Defense Fund and 9 companies involved in natural gas production, released a study which found that 0.42% of natural gas produced in the U.S. is emitted into the atmosphere as met(…)

EPA Revises SPCC Guidance to Promote National Consistency

U.S. EPA recently revised its oil spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) program guidance to help promote consistency in the way SPCC rules are administered by different EPA regions.  The SPCC rules mandate the implementation of professi(…)

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Calls for Environmentally Safe Natural Gas Extraction

Recently confirmed U. S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke at a forum at the University of Colorado School of Law on August 14 and addressed President Obama’s Climate Action Plan before participating in a panel discussion.   In her remarks, McCart(…)

EPA Finalizes Changes to Air Regulation Affecting Oil and Gas Storage Vessels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the pre-publication version of its final revisions to the New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector (i.e., 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO).  EPA made significant changes to(…)

McCarthy Confirmed as Top EPA Administrator After Months of Delay

On July 18, 2013, the full U.S. Senate voted to confirm Gina McCarthy as the next U.S. EPA Administrator.  The Senate voted 59-40 in favor of President Obama’s controversial nominee, after months of delay.  The President formally nominated McCarthy in(…)

U.S. EPA Gives Lead to Wyoming in Pavillion Gas Migration Study

On Thursday, U.S. EPA announced that the State of Wyoming will lead further investigation of drinking water quality in Pavillion, Wyoming.  In 2009, EPA began working with the state and local tribes to investigate water quality in the Pavillion area i(…)

United States EPA Approves Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's 2012 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring And Assessment Report

On May 9, 2013, the U.S. EPA approved the PADEP’s 2012 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, a biennial “monitoring and assessment report characterizing the condition of Pennsylvania’s surface waters.”  Included in this report is(…)

U.S. EPA Delays Fracking Study Amidst Congressional Concern

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is extending by more than six months the deadline for the public to submit scientific data and literature to inform EPA’s study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinki(…)

EPA Announces Comment Period for Proposed Revisions to Air Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed revisions (described in an earlier post) to certain new source performance standards affecting the oil and natural gas sector were published today in the Federal Register, marking the beginning of th(…)

U.S. EPA Withdraws Rule Changing Deadline for Requesting Alternative Calculation Method for Greenhouse Gas Reporting

On April 2, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a direct final rule it issued in February 2013 that required oil and natural gas companies to submit by June 30th of each year a request to use alternative calculation methods f(…)

U.S. EPA Proposing Changes to Air Rule Affecting Tanks Used in Oil and Natural Gas Production

On March 28, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a pre-publication version of proposed amendments to the Oil and Natural Gas Sector New Source Performance Standards (NSPS).  EPA published the final oil and gas NSPS in August(…)

Obama Nominates McCarthy to Lead U.S. EPA

President Obama announced today that he is nominating Gina McCarthy to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  McCarthy is currently Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.  She will replace(…)

U.S. EPA Inspector General Reports on Need to Improve Air Emissions Data for Oil and Gas Sector

In a report issued last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) asked the agency to improve its air emissions data for the oil and gas industry.  Specifically, OIG called on EPA to implement a comprehen(…)

U.S. EPA Revises Deadline for Requesting Alternative Calculation Method for Greenhouse Gas Reporting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced in a Federal Register notice a revised deadline by which oil and gas operators must submit a request to use alternative calculation methods for reporting greenhouse gas emissions.  The old d(…)

U.S. EPA Finalizes Revised Emissions Standards for Internal Combustion Engines

On January 14, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized amendments to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE).  In addition t(…)

Top U.S. EPA Administrator Announces Resignation

On December 27, 2012, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that she plans to leave her position after President Obama’s State of the Union address in early 2013.  Reportedly, the list of candidates to replace Jackson includes Kathleen McGinty, for(…)

U.S. EPA Releases Progress Report on Hydraulic Fracturing Study

On December 21, 2012, EPA released a much-anticipated progress report as part of its major hydraulic fracturing study.  EPA began research in 2011 under its “Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources,” in(…)