Ohio’s Statutory Unitization Amended to Clarify Inclusion of Partially Leased Tracts

Ohio recently passed HB 166, effective October 17, 2019, amending Section §1509.28 of Ohio’s statutory unitization statute.  The prior version of Section §1509.28 did not specify whether all mineral owners in a tract must be leased to be included in t(…)

Federal Court Upholds Constitutionality of Ohio’s Unitization Statute

A federal district court in Ohio recently upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s forced pooling statute (R.C. § 1509.28) in Kerns v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, et al., N.D. Ohio No. 5:18 CV 389 (June 13, 2018). R.C. § 1509.28 establishes the procedu(…)

Governor Justice Signs Bill Prohibiting Deduction of Post-Production Costs from Converted Flat-Rate Leases

Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 360 relating to payment of royalties pursuant to flat-rate oil and gas leases on Friday, March 9, 2018. The law is effective on May 31, 2018. Previously, West Virginia law prohibited the issuance of permits for(…)

Employment & Labor Alert: Wage Hour Division Announces PAID Program to Assist with FLSA Compliance

On March 6, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (WHD) announced a new pilot program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is intended to encourage employers to identify and correct potentially(…)

Challenge to Constitutionality of Ohio’s Forced Pooling Statute Rejected on Procedural Grounds

The Ohio Supreme Court recently rejected a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s forced pooling statute in State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-256. A group of landowners (the “Landowners”) sought a writ of mandamus compelling the C(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Rules on Forced Pooling Issue

The Tenth District Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Simmers v. City of North Royalton, affirming the decision of the Oil and Gas Commission which overturned a mandatory pooling order of the Chief of the Division of Oil & Gas Resources Managemen(…)

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(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Five Questions About PHMSA's Proposed Rules for Gas Transmission and Gathering Lines

On March 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a pre-publication version of its long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for gas transmission and gathering line(…)

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(…)

Environmental Quality Board Adopts Chapter 78/78a Rulemaking

On February 3, 2016, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) adopted significant revisions to the Commonwealth’s oil and natural gas regulations by a vote of 15 to 4.  EQB’s vote formally splits current Chapter 78 (Oil and Gas Wells) into n(…)

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(…)

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(…)

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(…)

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”(…)

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(…)

West Virginia House Approves Fair Pooling Bill

The West Virginia Fair Pooling bill, which we first described last week, has been approved in the West Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 60-40.  In order to become law, the bill must be approved by the State Senate before March 14, when the leg(…)

West Virginia Fair Pooling Bill Making Headway in Legislature

A bill, HB2688, designed to allow oil and gas operators to create oil and gas production units without the express authority of all oil and gas owners within the unit boundary, is currently pending before the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee. (…)

W. Va. Permit Transfer Legislation Becomes Effective Law

As reported by the Charleston Gazette on February 4, 2015, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed legislation originally known as Senate Bill 280, which streamlines the transfer process of well work permits to eliminate a requirement that(…)

West Virginia DEP to Host and Livestream Meeting to Discuss Division of Air Quality’s New General Permit for Natural Gas Activities

The West Virginia Division of Air Quality will release a new general air quality permit, the G80-A, which will regulate air quality in regard to natural gas production, compressor and dehydration facilities.  On February 5, 2014, the DEP will host a m(…)

New York Lifts 40-Year Ban on New Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities

This week the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation adopted regulations establishing a permitting program for the siting, construction and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in New York State.  The New York Legislatu(…)

WV Senate Passes Permit Transfer Legislation

As reported by The State Journal, the West Virginia Senate has passed Senate Bill 280 (“SB 280”) which, if it becomes effective, would allow the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to transfer well work permits from o(…)

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 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(…)

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(…)

Ohio DNR Opens Comment Period for Draft Rules on Well Pad Construction

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has opened the comment period on its draft rules for the construction of horizontal well sites. All interested parties may submit comments in writing by the close-of-business on Monday, October 06, 2014 to dogr(…)

Draft Final BLM Rules Under White House Review

The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has taken another step towards finalizing updated regulations for hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands, by sending a revised final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) fo(…)

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(…)

Ohio Announces Changes To The Procedure For Unitization Orders Under R.C. 1509.28

On May 9, 2014, the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management announced changes in the procedure for obtaining orders approving drilling units.  The procedure, established by R.C. 1509.28, authorizes the Division to approve drilling units that(…)

"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(…)

Ohio Department of Health Issues Guidelines for Drilling Waste

The Ohio Department of Health has issued guidelines for sampling and analysis of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) commonly found in drilling wastes. The guidelines were issued in conjunction with Ohio House Bi(…)

West Virginia Cracker Plant Could Have Multibillion Dollar Impact on State Economy

As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times, the proposed ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia, could potentially have a multi-billion dollar positive effect on the state’s economy.  Emeritus Professor of Economics Tom S. Witt of West(…)

Ohio Adopts New Guidelines for Applications for Facilities that Manage or Dispose of Drilling Wastes

Ohio legislation enacted earlier this year imposes new requirements on facilities that store, recycle, treat, process or dispose of brine or other waste substances associated with the exploration, development and operations of oil and gas wells. Under(…)

New York’s Proposal to Lift Ban on LNG Storage Facilities Stirs Debate

Environmental groups and industry organizations are at an impasse over regulations proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that would lift the state’s 40-year ban on the construction and operation of liquefied nat(…)

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(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Amends Administrative Enforcement Procedures

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in today’s edition of the Federal Register that amends its administrative procedures for federal enforcement actions effectiv(…)

Pennsylvania EQB Approves PADEP's Proposed Oil And Gas Regulations

As previously reported on the Babst Calland Shale Energy Law Blog, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board considered and approved the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (“PADEP”) proposed regulations regarding Subchapter C to(…)

Proposed BLM Fracking Rules Remain Controversial

The Bureau of Land Management’s revised proposal to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands remains controversial, inviting more than 600,000 comments from 250 public interest groups calling for stricter regulations, as well as strong oppositio(…)

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(…)

Pennsylvania Rulemaking Body to Consider Revisions to Oil and Gas Regulations

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board, the Commonwealth’s environmental rulemaking body, will consider proposed rulemaking to Subchapter C to Chapter 78 of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas regulations during its next meeting on August 27, 2013.

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Proposes to Update Industry Standards Incorporated by Reference

On August 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that contained a package of periodic updates to the vol(…)

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(…)

Western Energy Alliance Releases Economic Analysis of BLM's Revised Fracking Proposal for Federal Lands

Updating previous posts, the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) recently released an economic analysis in response to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) latest version of its proposed fracking rules for wells on federal lands(…)

PADEP Extends Comment Period for Proposed Public Participation Policy

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced on Monday that the public comment period for proposed policy changes would be extended from July 22nd to August 27th because of a printing error in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that provid(…)

DRBC Outlines Steps Being Taken In Natural Gas Drilling Decision

Michele Siekerka, the chairman of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) who represents New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the commission, recently issued a statement outlining the steps being taken by DRBC to reach a decision on natural gas dr(…)

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(…)

Corbett Urges Delaware River Basin Commission to End Moratorium

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett recently sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission urging the Commission to end a three-year moratorium on hydraulically fractured wells.  Corbett reportedly wrote that “[o]perators interested in developing(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in "Home Rule" Case

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over the closely watched “home rule” case State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp. At issue are the state laws which give the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sole and exclusive authority to regulate(…)

Interior Department Extends Comment Period for Federal Lands Fracking Proposal

The U.S. Department of the Interior has extended the comment period by 60 days for the revised proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell indicated that various interest groups had requested more time to(…)

Interior Releases Updated Draft Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands

On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Interior announced the release of its updated draft rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.  The 30-day deadline for submitting comments on the new proposal will run from the date of publication of the(…)

West Virginia Oil and Gas Environmental Certifications Can Benefit Landowners

Journalist Pam Kasey suggested, in a print article in the West Virginia State Journal dated May 2, 2013, that while it is possible for a surface owner to attempt to insist that a driller become certified under new certification standards set by the Ce(…)

Natural Gas Industries Develop Certification Program to Promote Best Practices

As Pam Kasey explains in her May 2, 2013 article in the print edition of the West Virginia State Journal, the industry has voluntarily come together to be “good actors” in mineral development by incorporating input from oil and gas industry leaders, e(…)

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(…)