USGS Releases 2017 Induced Seismicity Forecast

On March 1, 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey released an updated hazard map that forecasts the likelihood of induced seismic events for the coming year. This is the second year that USGS has published an induced seismicity forecast. Previously, the agency only projected naturally occurring seismic… Read more

Ohio EPA Finalizes New Compressor Station GPS

On March 2, 2017, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency finalized several general permits relating to natural gas compressor stations and similar facilities. The general permits are designed for facilities typically found near gathering lines leading to interstate transmission networks. In order… Read more

Trump Administration Orders Review of Waters of the U.S. Rule

On February 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the final “Waters of the U.S.” rulemaking published on June 29, 2015. The “Waters of the U.S.” rulemaking defines the scope of… Read more

PADEP Assesses Operator $1.2 Million Penalty

On February 27, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that it agreed to a $1.2 million civil penalty with an operator to settle violations related to a 2012 impoundment leak. According to the PADEP news release, in September 2012, testing of five private water… Read more

USGS to Release Updated Hazard Maps

On February 23, 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that it will release updated maps detailing the potential of natural and induced seismic events on March 1, 2017. The 2017 maps mark the second year that USGS has projected both natural and induced seismic risks. USGS previously stated that… Read more

PA Alleges Salamanders Harmed by Spill

On February 22, 2017, Penn Live reported that Pennsylvania District Judge Jerry C. Lepley sent a summons to two oil and natural gas companies concerning an alleged leak of flowback water in Lycoming County. According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the two companies allowed over 1,000… Read more

Duke Releases Study on Oil and Gas Related Spills

On February 21, 2017, the journal Environmental Science & Technology published “Unconventional Oil and Gas Spills: Risks, Mitigation Priorities, and State Reporting Requirements,” an assessment of spill data from unconventional development operations in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, and… Read more

Railroad Commission to Post Quarterly Enforcement Data

On February 16, 2017, the Texas Railroad Commission announced that the agency will be adding quarterly oil and gas enforcement data to its website. Beginning with the first quarter of 2017, the Commission will post summary data detailing the number of: (1) oil and gas facility inspections with no… Read more

Court Allows CWA Citizen Suit to Proceed

On January 30, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana denied an oil and natural gas operator's motion to dismiss a Clean Water Act citizen suit that alleges that the operator dredged near the shore of Lake Grand Ecaille without a permit. The plaintiff, the Louisiana… Read more

PADEP Alleges Correlation Between Development and Seismic Event

On February 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection held a press conference to announce its finding that Utica shale hydraulic fracturing activities conducted on April 25, 2016 correlated to microseismic, or unfelt seismic events. According to PADEP, hydraulic fracturing… Read more

PADEP to Hold Webinar on Induced Seismicity

Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that it will hold a public webinar tomorrow, February 17, 2017 to discuss its review of seismic events that occurred in Lawrence County on April 25, 2016. According to PADEP, a series of low-magnitude seismic events on April… Read more

Colorado Seeks Injunction of Boulder County Moratorium

On February 14, 2017, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman filed suit in Colorado state court to enjoin Boulder County’s five-year moratorium on new drilling permits. The Attorney General alleges in the petition that the County has extended or re-imposed the five-year moratorium a total of… Read more

Railroad Commission Statistics Point to Rebound

On February 10, 2017, the Texas Railroad Commission released its permits and completions statistics for January 2017. The RRC issued a total of 956 original drilling permits during January 2017, nearly double the number of original drilling permits issued during the same period last year. The… Read more

Dallas Appeals Court Overturns Intentional Nuisance Verdict

On February 1, 2017, the Dallas Court of Appeals overturned a jury’s finding that an operator’s oil and natural gas activities created an intentional nuisance for a nearby landowner. The landowner brought suit against the operator for “environmental contamination and polluting events,” including… Read more

Governor Wolf Proposes 6.5% Severance Tax

On February 7, 2017, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released his proposed 2017-18 budget for the Commonwealth, which includes a proposed 6.5% severance tax on natural gas. Under Governor Wolf’s plan, operators would be allowed to credit the amount paid in unconventional gas well impact fees against… Read more

FERC Approves Pipeline Projects and Delegates Authority Prior to Loss of Quorum

On February 2 and 3, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Energy Transfer Partners, LP’s $4.2 billion “Rover” pipeline project, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC’s $3 billion “Atlantic Sunrise” pipeline expansion, and National Fuel Gas Company’s $455 million “Northern… Read more

PADEP Proposes New and Revised GPS for Methane

On February 4, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection opened a 45-day public comment period for two proposed general permits and revisions to an air quality permit exemption. The proposals are designed to reduce methane and other pollutants at well sites and compressor… Read more

Trump Issues Executive Order on Cost-Neutral Regulations

On January 30, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a “Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The Executive Order requires that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an agency proposes or promulgates a new regulation through the Federal Register, the… Read more