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Shale & Fracking Tracker

News & Flashes

  • 28
  • December
  • 2012

EPA Releases Hydraulic Fracturing Study Progress Report

EPA released a progress report on its ongoing study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and ground water on December 21. The executive summary is available here and the full report is available here. EPA has 18 research projects underway as part of this study and expects to release a final draft for public comment and peer review in 2014.

  • 21
  • December
  • 2012

EPA Releases Hydraulic Fracturing Study Progress Report

EPA released a progress report on its ongoing study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and ground water on December 21. The executive summary is available here and the full report is available here. EPA has 18 research projects underway as part of this study and expects to release a final draft for public comment and peer review in 2014.

  • 19
  • December
  • 2012

California Releases "Discussion Draft" of New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On December 18, 2012, the California Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) released a "discussion draft" of regulations for hydraulic fracturing in the State. Requirements of DOGGR's discussion draft include: advanced notice prior to drilling; monitoring both during and after hydraulic fracturing operations; and fluid disclosure requirements. The discussion draft is not a formally proposed rule and is intended only to guide discussions amongst stakeholders prior to DOGGR officially starting the rulemaking process sometime in early 2013. Read the discussion draft here.

  • 12
  • December
  • 2012

States Intend to Sue EPA to Curb Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

On December 11, 2012, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts issued a notice of intent to sue the EPA. The states claim EPA has failed to set performance standards and guidelines under the CAA that would curb emissions of methane from the oil and gas sector, including from well completion and hydraulic fracturing activities, despite data showing methane reduction measures are available and cost-effective. Read the notice of intent to sue here.

  • 03
  • December
  • 2012

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation Extends Rulemaking Process for Shale Gas Drilling Regulations

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed for a 90-day extension from its November 29, 2012, deadline to develop regulations relating to shale gas development. According to the DEC, this will allow Health Commissioner Nirav Shah and his panel of experts to complete their review assessing the health effects of hydraulic fracturing (HF). The DEC also released revised proposed regulations for HF and will accept comments on these from December 12, 2012, through January 11, 2013.

  • 19
  • October
  • 2012

Suit Filed in California to Prevent Permitting of Oil and Gas Operations

October 16th Earthjustice filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior against the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) alleging failure to consider or evaluate the risks of fracking, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The suit was filed on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Environmental Working Group, and Sierra Club. These groups are asking the court to declare that the DOGGR has violated the CEQA and asks that the DOGGR be enjoined from approving any new oil and gas well permits until they have completed an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the environmental and public health impacts of fracking. Read the complaint here.

  • 09
  • October
  • 2012

EPA Notification Requirement In Effect October 15

Beginning October 15, 2012, operators must notify the EPA by email two days before completion of hydraulically fractured wells. This requirement is part of the final air rules for the oil and natural gas industry that were issued in April 2012. More information on these rules is available here. In addition, see a letter from the EPA regarding the notification requirement here.

  • 08
  • October
  • 2012

PADEP Releases Guidance on Aggregation for Upstream Oil and Gas Activities

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PAPED) released its final oil and gas guidance for drilling activities. The guidance document outlines DEP's approach to single stationary source determinations for emissions from oil and gas operations. Perhaps most importantly, the guidance clarifies that contiguous or adjacent properties are those located a quarter of a mile or less apart. If properties are more than a quarter-mile apart, they may only be considered contiguous or adjacent on a case-by-case basis. This approach is similar to that taken by West Virginia and has been viewed favorably by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Click here to read the full text of the guidance document.

  • 04
  • October
  • 2012

Recent New York State Court Decision Overturns Ban on Gas Exploration and Drilling In Binghamton, New York

State Supreme Court Justice Ferris Lebous' opinion invalidates a Local Law implemented in the City of Binghamton that prohibits gas drilling. The opinion notes the lack of evidence demonstrating a "dire need" that would warrant invocation of the City's police power to ban gas exploration. However, Lebous did follow recent New York decisions declining to find preemption of local government regulations banning drilling. Even so, this decision could suggest another avenue for petitioners seeking to overturn drilling bans. Read the opinion here.

  • 25
  • September
  • 2012

Court Removes Roadblock to Implementation of DRBC Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

United States District Judge Nicholas Garaufis dismissed claims against various federal agencies that included allegations of an improper environmental review in connection with natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin. This removes a roadblock to implementation of the Delaware River Basin Commission's draft regulations that would permit the development of wells that employ hydraulic fracturing technology. Click here to see the court's order.

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