Monthly Archives: November 2013

EPA Partially Approves Kentucky’s Proposed Water Quality Criteria for Selenium

The EPA has issued a final decision on the revisions to Kentucky’s water quality standards that were proposed as part of the Department of Water’s Triennial Review.  Of particular interest is the EPA’s approval of the chronic water quality criteria for selenium.  The change institutes a two-step process that was originally proposed by the EPA… Read More »

DEP Proposes to Fine Tune CEP Policy to Promote Environmental Justice

On October 26, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection published notice of its draft revised “Policy for the Consideration of Community Environmental Projects in Conjunction with Assessment of Civil Penalty” in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  43 Pa.B. 6389  Similar to the Supplemental Environmental Project penalty settlement feature used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and… Read More »

Obama Administration Seeks Public Input On The Social Cost Of Carbon

The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is currently $33 per ton, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  This value was recently adjusted and is up 57% since 2010, when the SCC was first announced. Various industry groups have objected to the SCC estimate, which was first used in a Department… Read More »

Low Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Wells Verified

Critics of shale gas development have frequently charged that methane leaks and emissions from shale gas operations are high enough to present no real advantage over other fossil fuels from a greenhouse gas standpoint.  However, recent study conducted  by the University of Texas and the Environmental Defense Fund (yes, you read that correctly) concluded that… Read More »

Court Orders Disclosure of All Chemicals Used since 2009 at Gas Company Drilling Site

A judge in a matter before the Court of Common Pleas in Washington County, Pennsylvania entered an order on November 5, 2013, directing Range Resources Inc., and approximately 40 of its subcontractors and suppliers to provide a list of every chemical or other substance used at the company’s site near Amwell Township since 2009.  The… Read More »

Coast Guard Seeks Comment On Barge Transport Of Frack Water

The Coast Guard is seeking comment on a proposed policy letter that would authorize the barge transport of hydraulic fracturing waste water, known as “shale gas extraction waste water” or SGEWW, in bulk.  The policy letter specifies the information that the Coast Guard may seek from the barge owner, the conditions under which a barge… Read More »

USEPA Revises Maximum Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts by Rule Promulgated November 6, 2013

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 2461, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701) requires EPA to adjust its statutory civil penalties for inflation at least once every 4 years.  Prior to today, EPA last issued a final Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule… Read More »

Federal Judge Mandates USEPA Set Schedule for Final Rule-Making Regarding Coal Ash Residue

A federal court has now ordered USEPA to set a deadline for finalizing federal coal ash regulations.  Pursuant to the court order, USEPA has 60 days to set a schedule for the final publication of regulations concerning how we will treat coal ash residue in this country. The order was the result of a lawsuit… Read More »

West Virginia Chicken Farmer Defeats EPA in Federal Lawsuit over Clean Water Act Permit

On October 23, 2013, Lois Alt, owner of Eight is Enough Farm1 in Hardy County, West Virginia, won summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or “Agency”) and a number of environmental groups. Ms. Alt filed suit seeking declaratory judgment… Read More »