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 Finality

“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. 

EPA Risk Management Plan Rule Delayed

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, EPA announced it would be delaying the effective date of the revised Clean Air Act 112(r) rule governing Risk Management Plan implementation and development from March 13, 2017 to June 19, 2017.  The rule is of concern to the regulated community, comprised of large industrial sources, because it represents enhanced… Read More »

Resurgence in Coal: Can Politics “Trump” Economics?

President Trump’s repeated proclamation of his desire to restore coal jobs certainly appealed to unemployed miners in the coal fields.  True to his word, the new administration has reeled in regulatory initiatives put in place by his predecessor which were viewed as detrimental to the coal industry.  While his efforts may have helped spur the… Read More »

Weekly Update on Environmental Regulatory Policy February 27 – March 4, 2017: Waters of the United States Rule Up for Review Oil and Gas Methane Information Request Withdrawn

Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator on February 17, 2017.  In advance of his confirmation, President Trump began laying the foundation for policy changes within the environmental programs of the United States as noted in the Executive Orders referenced below. With the national news media providing minute by minute updates,… Read More »

PA DEP – A New General Permit for Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Operations

At the December meeting of the DEP’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, representatives from the DEP’s Bureau of Air Quality presented the committee with some proposed changes they are planning to address methane emissions from natural gas operations.  Specifically, the DEP is proposing to revise its existing general permit program to regulate emissions from new… Read More »

The Fourth Circuit’s Decision in OVEC v. Fola Coal Company Set to Impact this Region’s Regulated Community

On January 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision that could severely impact this region’s regulated community. In Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal Co., LLC, the Court upheld a decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in which… Read More »