Tag: EPA

With Time Running Out for EPA to Act, Oil & Gas Operators Grow Increasingly Anxious about Pending Aquifer Exemption Applications

December 31, 2016 marked a deadline for oilfield operators to comply with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources’ (“DOGGR”) Aquifer Exemption and Compliance Schedule Regulations.  Operators were required to either cease injection of oilfield wastewater or obtain an aquifer exemption to continue injecting such wastewater.  This deadline was applicable to 11 aquifers that … Continue Reading

Fate of Injection Wells in Historically Exempt Aquifers Comes Closer to Determination

A lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California took a positive turn for energy producers last week as Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez denied plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in a closely watched case challenging long-standing operations in the California oil and gas industry. … Continue Reading

Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”). The study found that while there is little evidence that hydraulic fracturing is directly linked to widespread negative health and environmental impacts, additional data … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Limits Clean Air Act “Nonattainment Fees” in California’s San Joaquin Valley

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals capped a saga of over seven years on June 18 by extending its March 11, 2015 ruling in support of alternatives to imposing hefty fees on individual companies which have complied with the law, but happen to do business in California’s Central Valley or South Coast. Environmental groups challenged … Continue Reading

Yet Another Lawsuit Seeking to Limit California Oil Development

The clamor over hydraulic fracturing continued Wednesday as environmental activists filed another lawsuit to limit oil and gas development in California.  The lawsuit, filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Los Padres ForestWatch, challenges a plan to open portions of federal land in California to oil and gas operations. The … Continue Reading

New Clean Water Rule Unlikely To Significantly Change Regulatory Status Quo…At Least For Now

The wait for the new rule is now over!  The EPA and Corps of Engineers have jointly issued the rule defining which waters are protected by the federal Clean Water Act, with the new rule largely reflecting historical interpretations arising from SCOTUS decisions. Please click on this link for more in-depth information and analysis prepared by Michael Campbell from … Continue Reading

Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Oil Industry Wastewater Disposal Practices

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, two environmental groups filed a lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California. The suit, filed by the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, claims that the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) should be prohibited from … Continue Reading

DOGGR Letter to USEPA Proposes Rulemaking to Eliminate Oil and Gas Well Injection into Non-exempt Aquifers

On Friday, February 6, California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) published a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) addressing issues with California’s Class II Oil and Gas Underground Injection Control program (“UIC”).  DOGGR wrote the letter in response to two previous letters from the USEPA where the USEPA pointed out … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Curtails EPA’s Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gases under Clean Air Act

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a surprising decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  The Supreme Court has held that EPA cannot regulate stationary sources under the CAA Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Logging Road Permit Requirement

On March 20, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center 586 U.S. (2013) reversing a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that would have required Clean Water Act permits (CWA) for stormwater running off logging roads. The decision turns largely on deference to EPA’s interpretation … Continue Reading

Oil & Gas Industry Law Alert: U.S. EPA Continues Refinery Enforcement, Focuses on Flares

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced the latest proposed settlement in EPA’s Clean Air Act enforcement initiative against petroleum refiners. Hess Corporation will pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million on new pollution controls at its Port Reading, New Jersey refinery to resolve alleged … Continue Reading

FEDERAL AGENCIES TAKE ACTION ON FRACKING GUIDELINES

At the end of last week, EPA and BLM each released draft requirements relating to fracking.  EPA released draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II well permitting guidance for fracking activities that use diesel fuels.  BLM released draft rules requiring public disclosure of fracking chemicals used on public and Indian lands. The EPA guidance applies … Continue Reading

Feds Announce Air Pollution Rules for “Fracked” Natural Gas Wells – Delay Implementation

On April 17, the Environmental Protection Agency issued new rules designed to curb the emission of air pollutants from “fracked” natural gas wells. Originally submitted last summer, the new rules will be gradually implemented over the next two to three years and look to curb emissions by 95%. The EPA commented that the need for … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Dismisses Commom Law Nuisance Suit

Supreme Court dismisses federal common law nuisance GHG suits against power producers because of federal Clean Air Act preemption, does not rule on state preemption issues. The case also dealt with issues of standing and agency primacy.  See http://www.lawofrenewableenergy.com/ for the full details.… Continue Reading
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