PADEP’s Chapter 78a Rulemaking Goes into Effect for Unconventional Operations in Pennsylvania

On Saturday October 8, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s new Chapter 78a regulations associated with unconventional wells went into effect when they were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  For unconventional well op(…)

SRBC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On September 21, 2016, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking/Notice of Public Hearings in the Federal Register.  The proposed regulations would affect application requirements for project approval and(…)

PHMSA Increases Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Pipeline Safety Laws and Regulations

On June 30, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an interim final rule, effective August 1, 2016, titled “Pipeline Safety:  Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties.”  This interim rule increases the m(…)

Governor Signs the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Act

On June 23, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Act (S.B. 279), which abrogates the Environmental Quality Board’s revisions to the Chapter 78 regulations concerning conventional oil and natural gas wells.  The Act p(…)

BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Struck Down by Federal Court

On June 21, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming (“District Court”) set aside the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM’s”) “Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands” rule, finding that the rul(…)

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(…)

House ERE Committee Moves to Bar Chapter 78/78a Regulatory Package

On May 3, 2016, the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (“ERE Committee”) voted 19-8 to advance a concurrent resolution that would disapprove the Chapter 78/78a regulations that were approved for promulgation by the Environ(…)

Statement from Environmental Regulatory Attorney Jean Mosites Who Testified at Yesterday’s Chapter 78 Hearing in Harrisburg

The following statement is from Babst Calland environmental regulatory attorney Jean Mosites who provided testimony at yesterday’s daylong public hearing on the subject of proposed revisions to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78 submitted by the Department of Env(…)

Pennsylvania IRRC Approves Chapter 78/78a Regulations

On April 21, 2016, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) approved the Environmental Quality Board’s Chapter 78 (conventional wells) and Chapter 78a (unconventional wells) regulations by a vote of 3-2.  Vice Chairman Mizner, in making a m(…)

West Virginia Senate Bill Would Eliminate Some Taxes for Natural Gas Producers

As reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail  and Natural Gas Intelligence, the West Virginia Senate recently passed SB 419, which, if enacted, would eliminate certain volumetric fees that natural gas producers pay in addition to the state’s severance t(…)

Administrative Watch: Pennsylvania Methane Reduction Strategy Expected to Transform Air Program for Oil and Natural Gas Sector

On January 19, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a sweeping new regulatory strategy for reducing methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Commonwealth.  Methane, the(…)

Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Final Rule for Northern Long-Eared Bat

On January 14, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published in the Federal Register the Final 4(d) Rule for the Northern Long-Eared Bat.  USFWS issues such rules pursuant to Section 4(d) of the Federal Endangered Species Act in order t(…)

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,(…)

Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites.  The rules, codi(…)

Gov. Tomblin Forms the WV Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety

On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety.  Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission(…)

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(…)

EPA Issues New Rule on Definition of Waters of the United States

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the long-awaited final rule redefining the extent of the agencies’ jurisdiction over “waters of the United States”(…)

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(…)

BLM Announces Final Rule for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

Today the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the release of a highly-anticipated final rule addressing hydraulic fracturing on millions of acres of Federal and Indian lands.  According to BLM, there are more tha(…)

EPA Announces Updates to NSPS OOOO Air Rule Prior to Key January 1 Deadline

On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized amendments to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry, just a few days in advance of a key regulatory deadline.  Under NSPS Subpart(…)

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(…)

USEPA Publishes Request for Comment on Chemical Disclosure

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published in the Federal Register its advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the disclosure of chemicals and mixtures associated with hydraulic fracturing (see previous post).  Public com(…)

USEPA Seeking to Obtain Information on Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Mixtures

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced the availability of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public comments on “the information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemical(…)

Pennsylvania DEP Releases Inaugural Oil and Gas Annual Report

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its inaugural Oil and Gas Annual Report, which showcases DEP’s regulation of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry.  The Report describes the structure of DEP’s Oil and Gas(…)

Ohio EPA Issues Revised General Air Permits For Horizontal Drilling Sites Requiring More Aggressive Methane Leak Detection and Repair

As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal Online on April 4, 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued revised general permits for the installation and operation of air contaminant sources at oil and gas horizontal well sites to address meth(…)

Subcommittees Convened to Discuss Specific Matters Related to Draft Proposed Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Regulations

In tomorrow’s Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) will issue a notice regarding the establishment of subcommittees by the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board (OGTAB) to discuss specific provisions at(…)

WV Producer’s Operations Achieve ISO 14001 Certification

As profiled in an article by Pam Kasey in the West Virginia State Journal, Charleston-based Appalachian Basin natural gas operator Triana Energy, LLC has meet the stringent environmental standards required to achieve ISO 14001 certification.  To achie(…)