Trump Administration Halts New Regulations

On January 20, 2017, Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, issued a memorandum to the heads of all executive departments and agencies concerning ongoing regulatory projects.  Specifically, Priebus instructed agency heads to: (1) immediately withdraw all regulations… Read more

Energy Companies Pursue Incidental Take Permit for Five Bat Species

In December 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held five public meetings to discuss a proposal by nine oil and natural gas companies for an incidental take permit related to five bat species in Appalachia. If approved, the incidental take permit would exempt future oil and… Read more

SCOTUS to Review Clean Water Act Case

On January 13, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Nat’l Ass’n of Manufacturers v. Dep’t. of Def., et al., a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The case arises from a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army… Read more

EPA Publishes Risk Management Rule

On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published “Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act,” a final rule amending EPA’s Risk Management Program regulations at 40 CFR part 68, in the Federal Register.  Specifically… Read more

DRBC Releases Proposed Draft Regulations to States

On January 4, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported that the Commonwealth attended a Delaware River Basin Commission meeting in November 2016 at which draft regulations covering oil and natural gas development activities in the Delaware River… Read more

Bill Proposed to Take Oil and Gas Penalty Collections from PADEP

On December 27, 2016, Pennsylvania State Senator Scott E. Hutchinson issued a Senate Co-Sponsorship Memorandum regarding the reallocation of oil and natural gas penalties received by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Specifically, the bill would redirect oil and… Read more

FERC Completes EIS for Transco’s Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Expansion

On December 30, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the results of an Environmental Impact Study for Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC’s proposed 199.4-mile “Atlantic Sunrise” pipeline expansion. If approved, the pipeline is expected to extend from the… Read more

EPA Agrees to Review RCRA Regulations

On December 28, 2016, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates signed a consent decree that settles a lawsuit between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several environmental advocacy organizations concerning the agency’s treatment of oil and natural gas wastes under the Resource Conservation… Read more

House Passes Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017

On January 3, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 (H.R.21) by a vote of 238-184. If enacted into law, the bill would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to consider and pass a joint resolution disapproving multiple… Read more

EPA Launches CWA Jurisdictional Determination Website

On December 19, 2016, Joel Beauvais, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water announced the release of a new website that tracks all Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations made since August 28, 2015, the effective… Read more

White House Announces Moratorium on Arctic Offshore Leasing

On Tuesday, December 20, 2016, the White House announced that President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached an agreement to designate certain U.S. and Canadian waters in the Arctic and northern Atlantic Oceans as “indefinitely off limits” to offshore oil and… Read more

EPA Finalizes Revisions to Risk Management Program

On December 21, 2016, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy signed “Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act,” a final rule amending EPA’s Risk Management Program regulations at 40 CFR part 68. Specifically, the final… Read more

Pennsylvania's Act 13 Odyssey

On December 13, 2016, Law 360 published "Pennsylvania's Act 13 Odyssey,"  a Harris, Finley & Bogle article examining legal challenges to Pennsylvania's Act 13 of 2012 and the subsequent Chapter 78a regulations.  A copy of the article is available here.  

President-Elect Trump Nominates Scott Pruitt as USEPA Administrator

On December 7, 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that President-Elect Donald Trump will nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the Administrator to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt was in private practice until his election to the Oklahoma Senate… Read more

PADEP Air Quality Committee Reviews Draft Air Permits

On December 8, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee discussed new draft general permits designed to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Commonwealth. The draft permits contain… Read more

NETL Awards Six Research Projects to Investigate Unconventional Shale Properties

On December 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory announced that it awarded funding for six research projects at four national laboratories that will investigate new procedures for hydrocarbon extraction from unconventional shale plays. The research… Read more

PADEP Settles Enforcement Actions for $3.5 Million

On December 7, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection assessed an oil and natural gas operator $3.5 million in civil penalties to settle statutory and regulatory violations at 10 well sites and six pipeline locations. The violations occurred in Washington and Greene… Read more

PADEP Appeals Chapter 78a Injunction to PA. Supreme Court

On December 6, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requested that the state’s Supreme Court overturn a Commonwealth Court Order enjoining parts of Chapter 78a. Chapter 78a contains the Commonwealth’s new environmental performance standards for unconventional oil and… Read more