Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Is On the Mind of the DOJ Environmental and Natural Resources Division?

On July 23, 2015, John Cruden, head of DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, gave this speech to the American Bar Association Litigation Section on the current direction of federal environmental enforcement efforts. It touches upon issues we are consciously or subconsciously managing.  If you do not have time to read the speech, review the… Read More »

Stakeholders Focus on Pipelines

With the Marcellus Shale Play going strong after a decade and some speculation that the Utica Shale Play may be even larger (according to two-year geological study conducted by the Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium, a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University, see wvgs.wvnet.edu/utica), it… Read More »

PA DEP Public Resource Proposed Rules – Will They Survive?

As reported in my June, 2015 article on this site, the DEP’s Chapter 78 rulemaking effort is not without its share of controversy and concern. Perhaps the biggest issue for the industry is the expansion of the “Public Resource” requirements in proposed Chapter 78 (Conventional Operations) and Chapter 78a (Unconventional Operations). Both packages use a… Read More »

Proposal to Revise Aluminum and Selenium Water Quality Criteria

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (“WVDEP”) proposed rule revisions for consideration during the 2016 regular legislative session are now available on the WVDEP website, including long-awaited revisions being proposed to the state’s existing aluminum and selenium water quality criteria. The state’s water quality standards rule, 47 C.S.R., Series 2, is proposed to be… Read More »

USFWS WV Field Office Guidance on Bat Conservation Plans – Proceed Cautiously

In June 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service released the “Guidance on Developing and Implementing a Myotid Bat Conservation Plan.”  http://www.fws.gov/westvirginiafieldoffice/PDF/WVFO_IBCP.pdf.   Key teaching points about this guidance are raised in the following Q&A: Why develop a plan?  It can help significantly reduce the likelihood a “take” would occur. Will a plan protect me… Read More »

Michigan v. EPA – Setting the Stage for The Clean Power Plan and WOTUS

On June 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court filed its 5-4 ruling on the challenge to US EPA Mercury Air Toxics (MATS) rule.  Michigan, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 14-46.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-46_10n2.pdf.  In short the decision reverses and remands the lower court, Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit, decision determining it… Read More »