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(…)

Third Circuit Affirms Decision to Dismiss Doctor's Act 13 Challenge

In a recent non-precedential opinion, the Third Circuit affirmed a decision of the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissing an action on the basis that a doctor lacked standing to challenge what he refers to as the “Medical Gag Rules” of Act 13.  In(…)

Gastar Successfully Defeats Twin Litigation Cases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. of Marshall County, West Virginia has dismissed the second in a pair of lawsuits aimed to restrict operator Gastar Exploration, Inc.’s ability to hydraulically fracture several wells in Marshall County, West Virginia.  Accor(…)

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(…)

North Carolina Governor Signs Hydraulic Fracturing Bill

On June 4, 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the Energy Modernization Act, which lifts a 2012 moratorium that blocked the issuance of oil and gas drilling permits in the state.  In addition to allowing for the permitting of hyd(…)

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(…)

Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474, introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic f(…)

New York’s Health Review of Hydraulic Fracturing Will Remain Outside the Public Eye; Still No Timetable for Completion

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah announced earlier this week that his public health review of hydraulic fracturing will continue in private until it is complete.  Despite facing harsh criticism for a lack of transparency in(…)

Department of the Interior Releases Semiannual Statement of Regulatory Priorities

The Department of the Interior has released its Statement of Regulatory Priorities, a subsection of which highlights the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s priorities on energy issues including hydraulic fracturing.  BLM’s stated highest regulatory pri(…)

Middle District of Pennsylvania Dismisses Physician's Challenge to Act 13

On October 23rd, the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissed Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez’s complaint challenging Act 13’s so-called “Medical Gag Act.”  If, during the course of treating a patient, a health professional deems it necessary for an operator t(…)

EQT Corporation and Green Field Energy Services Team Up for Eco-Friendly Hydraulic Drilling Process

EQT Corporation and Green Field Energy Services announced on Monday that they had achieved a major milestone in the hydraulic fracturing field.  Using pumps powered entirely by “field” gas, or gas supplied from a separate (and previously drilled) natu(…)

Dominion Begins Talks to Farm Out 100,000 Acres in West Virginia reports that Dominion has begun talks regarding farming out 100,000 acres in West Virginia in the Marcellus Shale located near Dominion’s gas storage assets near the Ohio and Pennsylvania borders.  Thomas Farrell, CEO of Dominion, indicated(…)

GreenHunter Receives Approval for Frac-Water Recycling Facility in Wheeling

The Wheeling Planning Commission has approved plans of GreenHunter Resources, Inc. for a water recycling and barging facility to be constructed in Wheeling, WV.  The $1.7 million construction project, as reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, is G(…)

West Virginia Air Quality not Endangered by Fracking

A report created by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas, which was anticipated pursuant to previous studies conducted by the DEP, indicates that no new rules are necessary to protect West Virginia’s air qua(…)

New York Governor: Hydrofracking Alone Not Answer for Upstate Economy

During a recent radio interview, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that additional initiatives beyond hydrofracking, including reducing taxes and increasing tourism and manufacturing, will be required to improve the economy of Upstate New York.  “If(…)

Eighteen Democrats from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Write Letter of Disagreement to Pennsylvania Democratic Party

As we previously reported in June, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party voted to pass a resolution supporting a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.  We recently learned that on June 15, 2013, eighteen Democrats from Pennsylvania’s House of Repr(…)

Natural Gas Drilling Operations Commence in West Virginia Wildlife Preserve

According to the Charleston Gazette, the Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management Area in Wetzel County is now contains several natural gas drilling operations by various companies operating in the State of West Virginia.  The Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management(…)

Five-Year Anniversary of New York’s Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium

New York’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing has entered its sixth year.  On July 23, 2008, former Governor David Paterson directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct an environmental review of high-volume hy(…)

Preliminary Findings of NETL’s Hydraulic Fracturing Study – No Impacts to Groundwater

The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory released a statement at the end of last week regarding its preliminary findings in its study to monitor for impacts of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater, noting that “nothing of concer(…)

West Virginia’s New Horizontal Drilling Regulations Now In Effect

West Virginia natural gas operators saw a shift in the permitting and regulation process as new rules governing horizontal drilling went into effect on July 1, 2013.  Authorized by the West Virginia Legislature with its passage of the Horizontal Well(…)

PA Legislation Would Mandate Use of Closed Systems for Non-Freshwater Fluids

A bill was recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would require use of closed containment or loop systems for all non-freshwater associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  Introduced by Representative Karen Boba(…)

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(…)

New Version of Fracking Fluid Disclosure Registry to be Launched June 1

Managers of FracFocus, the national database containing operator-disclosed information on substances used in hydraulic fracturing fluids, expect to officially launch an updated version on June 1, 2013 to improve the site’s functionality.  The new vers(…)

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(…)

West Virginia Legislation Authorizing New Regulations and Trade Secrets Awaits Governor's Signature

The West Virginia legislature has passed Senate Bill 243, the legislation which authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Oil and Gas (OOG), to promulgate the pending Horizontal Well Act regulations.  According to the West Virgi(…)

Chief of Ohio Department of Natural Resources Testifies In Support of State Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

The House Natural Resources Committee recently heard testimony from representatives of Ohio, Texas and Utah on the necessity of federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing.  Richard Simmons, Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, testified(…)

Industry Group Requests New York Investigation of Anti-Fracking Celebrities

The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York reportedly filed a formal complaint with New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics on March 26, 2013, requesting an investigation into whether the group known as “Artists Against Fracking” is vi(…)

West Virginia University College of Law Students Enter the Marcellus Shale Play With National Moot Court Competition

The WVU College of Law will tackle hydraulic fracturing issues in the upcoming National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition.  On March 14-16, 2013, moot court teams will gather in Morgantown to address issues involving alleged violation(…)

New York Landowners Seeking Plaintiffs for "Takings" Lawsuit Against State

This week the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc. (JLCNY) announced that they are seeking landowner plaintiffs for a lawsuit against New York State.  JLCNY announced in early February its plan to sue the state.  According to JLCNY, the lawsui(…)

Unimin Corporation Opens Proppant Distribution Terminal in Navarre, Ohio

Unimin Corporation has announced a new facility for distributing proppants used in hydraulic fracturing.  The facility will be located in Navarre, Ohio, about 10 miles west of Canton.  Strategically placed to be accessible by rail and highway, the fac(…)

Chesapeake Energy Offers Estimate of Production from Ohio Wells

Chesapeake Energy, the No. 1 driller in Ohio’s Utica Shale formation, projected an estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of 5 billion to 10 billion cubic feet of equivalents over the lifetime of each of its wells drilled into the Utica Shale in Carroll Co(…)

Plant in Belle, West Virginia Producing Chemical to Help Oil and Gas Recovery

The Charleston Gazette reports that Kureha PGA is making a product in its Belle facility that may be used by oil and gas companies.  The product is a polyglycolic acid resin (PGA) called Kuredux, a high-performance polymer that has been certified as a(…)

New Study Underway Investigating Water Usage in Marcellus Development

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports that a new study has begun regarding the use of water in hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.  The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation is providing funding f(…)

Fate of New York Fracking Rules Remains Uncertain Amidst Demands for Additional Public Comment

The fate of New York’s fracking moratorium remains uncertain.  According to the Huffington Post, if the rules proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are not finalized by February 27, 2013, the proposal will expir(…)

Cabot Oil and Gas Agrees to Make Disclosures Concerning Fracking Fluids

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation has agreed to disclose its policies and procedures for reducing and eliminating toxic substances associated with its hydraulic fracturing fluids.  DiNapoli com(…)

Companies pursue alternative fracturing formulations

The Associated Press reports on continued efforts by the oil and gas industry to develop alternative formulations of fluids used to hydraulically fracture wells that include non-toxic and food-grade substances.  In particular, the AP’s report spotligh(…)

BLM Sends Revised Fracking Proposal to White House for Review

As we anticipated in a previous post, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has reportedly submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget its revised proposal for regulation of hydraulic fracturing on fede(…)

Companies Exploring Horizontal Shallow Wells

Industry experts believe that horizontal drilling of shallow wells could be an opportunity for small family-owned drillers, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Shallow horizontal wells and fracking are more affordable than in the past due to improv(…)

Bureau of Land Management Revising Fracking Proposal

The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced that it will revise its draft proposal to regulate fracking on federal lands.  According to BLM, approximately 90 percent of wells drilled on federal and Indian lan(…)

NJ Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Ends

A one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey ended yesterday, the Star-Ledger reports.  Gas resources are projected to be limited in New Jersey, and a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman reported that no applicat(…)

PA State Senator to Propose Amendments to Act 13 Fracking Disclosure Requirements

Pennsylvania state Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County) recently circulated a memorandum to state senators stating that he would re-introduce legislation in the 2013-2014 Regular Session to amend portions of Act 13 of 2012 that relate to disclos(…)

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(…)