Category Archives: Environmental

Appalachian Storage Hub Discussion Advances

WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher Urges Action.  On May 3, 2017 at the WV Manufacturer’s Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher spoke of the need for industry professionals to work alongside government officials to realize the full potential of shale gas.  “I suggest you have a job to do,” said Thrasher. … Read More »

West Virginia Submits Clean Water Act §401 Water Quality Certification Requirements

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has issued its final Clean Water Act §401 water quality certification (WQC) for Nationwide general permits (NWPs) on April 13, 2017. The WVDEP is required to certify that NWPs do not degrade state water quality through the § 401 WQC.   These §401 conditions must be implemented into… Read More »

PA General Air Permits for Natural Gas Operations – A Future of More Delays

Back in January of this year I posted an article on this site that reviewed the PA DEP’s plans for initiating a new general air permit to address methane emissions from natural gas facilities.  This proposal called for an elimination of the existing Exemption 38 for future facilities and replacing it with a new GP-5A. … Read More »

Commonwealth Court Opens Brief Window for Impact Fee Refund

On March 29, 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision in Snyder Brothers, Inc. v Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, No. 1043 C.D. 2015, reversing and rejecting the PUC’s interpretation of the obligation to pay impact fees under Act 13 for a low producing or “stripper” well, which is defined as an “unconventional gas… Read More »

What EPA Regulation Do You See as Warranting Repeal, Replacement, or Modification?

On March 24, 2017, EPA Administrator E. Scott Pruitt circulated a memorandum to the Acting Deputy Administrator, General Counsel, Assistant Administrators, Inspector General, Chief Financial Officer, Chief of Staff, Associate Administrators, Regional Administrators, and the Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. 

PADEP Sues Townships Over Fracing Bans

On the same day it issued permits authorizing two energy companies to dispose of oil and gas wastewater in underground injection wells, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) filed a petition for review in Commonwealth Court challenging two townships for attempting to restrict unconventional gas operations.  In asking the court to enjoin the townships… Read More »

EPA Announcement of Review of the Clean Power Plan

As one might have expected from the former Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement of review of the Clean Power Plan is laced heavily with legal issues.  EPA announced on April 4, 2017, its intent to review the CPP consistent with President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence.  The… Read More »

Environmental Activism and Social Protests – Is the Truth Dead?

In a country so divided on so many issues and with so much information available from so many sources it is hard to discern fact from fiction.  The recent revelations by and about “fake news” mongers, who populate the internet with misinformation, either for fun, profit or to advance their own cause, should not surprise… Read More »

State Department Approval of Keystone XL Gives False Sense of Pipeline’s Regulatory Finalty

“I’ll call Nebraska.”  That was President Trump’s answer when a reporter questioned the regulatory finality of the Keystone XL (‘KXL’) pipeline.  With the issuance of the State Department’s permit for cross-border construction, TransCanada finally received the federal permission it needs to complete KXL’s northernmost section.  This authorization has been ten years in the making.  What… Read More »

Trump Executive Order: Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth

On March 28, 2017 President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order,  ”Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”   The text of the order is here.  A summary table prepared by Kathy Beckett is here. The Executive Order contains multiple provisions that target many sectors to include:  coal, oil/gas, other energy and manufacturing.