Category Archives: Oil and Gas

PA Chapter 78 Rules – New Issues, New Controversies

The ongoing effort by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to develop new rules for oil and gas activities – Chapter 78 for conventional and unconventional oil and gas operations – continues to make slow progress towards eventual promulgation in 2016. As a “reward” for the voluminous comments submitted by industry in 2014 on the… 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 »

OSHA Adds “Upstream Oil & Gas Hazards” to List of High-Emphasis Hazards in Severe Violator Enforcement Program

On February 11, 2015, OSHA Director of Enforcement Programs Thomas Galassi sent a memorandum to all OSHA Regional Directors and State Plan Designees titled “Inclusion of Upstream Oil and Gas Hazards to the High-Emphasis Hazards in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).” The short memorandum states that its purpose is “to authorize the addition of… Read More »

Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Issued; Criticized by NGOs and Challenged by Industry and States

On March 20, 2015, the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued final regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing “as a much-needed complement to existing regulations designed to ensure the environmentally responsible development of oil and gas resources on Federal and Indian lands.” 80 Fed. Reg. 16128 (March 26, 2015) The regulations,… Read More »

PA DEP Reproposes Rules for Oil and Gas Wells – Industry Concerns Increase

As was previously noted on this blog site, the PA Department of Environmental Protection embarked on an effort several years ago to revise its Chapter 78 rules pertaining to the permitting and environmental issues associated with oil and gas operations. These proposed rules were published for comment in December, 2013. While the need for some… Read More »

Ongoing Political and Legal Developments Impact Marcellus Operations in PA

While some jurisdictions (Maryland, New Jersey; municipalities in California and Colorado) are still considering whether to permit or ban hydraulic fracturing, operators in Pennsylvania need not be too concerned about a statewide moratorium anytime soon. However, operators should be aware of ongoing political and legal developments that may impact their bottom line. 

New PA DEP Well Transfer and Status Change Procedures Detailed

The Pennsylvania DEP has developed new instructions for handling oil and gas well transfers and status and ownership changes. DEP is asking operators that as they update their well inventories that they be aware of these requirements when they submit information back to the appropriate DEP district office. The instructions summarized here are in a… 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 »

Regulatory Update on Pennsylvania Oil and Gas

On January 7, 2015, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion rejecting a challenge by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Fund (PEDF) of the Commonwealth’s administrative budgetary decisions regarding the leasing of state lands as being in violation of the Environmental Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The court declined to follow an expansive interpretation… Read More »

Pennsylvania’s TENORM Study is Released – What are the Conclusions?

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in virtually all soil and rock on the earth’s surface. NORM can also be found in groundwater as the result of its contact with NORM bearing geologic formations. When human related activities disturb the soil, rock or groundwater and change the NORM from its original state, the NORM… Read More »