Author Archives: Armando F. Benincasa

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection 2016 Rules Update

In an unusual turn of events, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (“WVDEP”) rules package for the 2016 legislative session did not gain legislative approval during the 2016 regular session.  Instead, the rules were added to the Governor’s call for the special session held earlier this month. During the special session, the issue that… Read More »

USEPA Social Media Campaign in Support of WOTUS Rule Deemed Unlawful

In a letter dated December 14, 2015, from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to Senator James Inhofe, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the GAO takes the social media campaign adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in support of its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule to task.… Read More »

USEPA Enjoined From Enforcing New WOTUS Rule

Following a decision by a district court in North Dakota to stay the effectiveness of USEPA’s new rules re-defining the “waters of the United States” in thirteen states – the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has now issued a stay effective nationwide, blocking implementation of the rule by USEPA and… Read More »

USEPA Presses Forward with EGL for Oil and Gas Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency continues to move forward with a proposed rule which would require oil and natural gas producers to pretreat the wastewater from their unconventional oil and gas extraction operations, including hydraulic fracturing, before it would be allowed to go to a publicly owned wastewater treatment facility for final treatment and… Read More »

Senate Bill 280 Making Well Work Permits Transferrable Passes Legislature

Senate Bill 280 which makes well work permits issued by the Office of Oil and Gas in West Virginia transferrable has passed both houses of the West Virginia legislature and now only awaits signature by the Governor. Passage of the legislation makes West Virginia consistent with its sister Appalachian Marcellus/Utica states which already allow for… Read More »

Changes Starting January 2015 with Regard to Water Use Reporting Thresholds in West Virginia

Senate Bill 373 has for the past year been often referred to as the Above Ground Storage Tank Bill which was passed by the West Virginia legislature during the regular 2014 session. But the bill addressed issues outside of storage tanks, including amendments to the state Water Resources Protection and Management Act, W. Va. Code… Read More »

USEPA Moves Forward with Potential TSCA Rulemaking Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing

The public comment period for USEPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures and potential regulation pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) comes to a conclusion on September 18, 2014 and sets the stage for a final decision by the agency as to whether it will move forward with… Read More »

The House of Representatives Passes Legislation to Modify the Endangered Species Act to Require Transparency in the Listing Process

The House of Representatives passed a bill which would require federal agencies involved in the listing process to publish data they use to determine whether a species should be designated as “endangered” or merely “threatened” and further directed the federal government to provide states with data used to make a decision on an endangered species… Read More »

Ballot Initiatives, Including One to Establish an Environmental Bill of Rights and Another Which Would Have Withheld Revenues From Communities Banning Oil and Gas Drilling, Withdrawn in Compromise

In an attempt to avoid a clash at the ballot box, Governor John Hickenlooper announced on August 6, 2013 a delicately balanced compromise on local control of oil and gas drilling that will remove all ballot initiatives regarding oil and gas drilling from the November ballot. Congressman Jared Polis agreed to drop two measures he… Read More »