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Tag Archives: Environment

PA: DEP Regulatory Report

Posted in Energy, Environment
NorthCentralPA.com is reporting on a recent report issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection:  "This week, the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its first-ever 2013 Oil and Gas Annual Report, highlighting both the incredible opportunity that safe, tightly-regulated shale development presents for the entire Commonwealth as well as the strong and effective… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds EPA’s Transport Rule

Posted in Environment
On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held that U.S. EPA did not violate the Clean Air Act (CAA) when it issued the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (Transport Rule), overturning the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling in 2012. The Transport Rule, enacted pursuant to the “Good Neighbor” provision of the CAA, requires reduced emissions of… Continue Reading

PA Water Monitoring Report

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources released its first Shale Gas Monitoring Report this week.  Among the findings (quoted from the Department’s press release):  "Water is the resource that most people cite when expressing their concerns about shale gas production. Although incidents have occurred, the monitoring data shows that water quality has not… Continue Reading

IPCC Report Supports Hydraulic Fracturing

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest assessment finds that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have dropped in large part to the use of hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas:  "A key development since AR4 is the rapid deployment of hydraulic‐fracturing and horizontal‐drilling technologies, which has increased and diversified the gas supply and allowed for… Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Issues Methane White Papers

Posted in Energy, Environment
U.S. EPA issued five white papers earlier this week (on April 15th – tax day) on potentially significant sources of emissions in the oil and gas sector.  From the summary report on completion operations:  "Completion is the process of preparing a well for production. Completions of hydraulically fractured or refractured oil wells can be a source… Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Proposes Rule Defining “Waters of the United States”

Posted in Environment
On March 25, 2014, U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule redefining "Waters of the United States."  Editorializing a bit, a cursory review of the proposed rule indicates little has been done to clarify whether and how certain streams and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act.  We will follow-up with a more detailed… Continue Reading

PA: DEP Air Emission Study

Posted in Energy, Environment
NBC10 (Philadelphia) is reporting on a study that finds that oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania are contributing to reduced air pollution in the state:  "A new state report says Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry remained a relatively small contributor of air pollution in 2012 from industrial facilities, despite including more compressor stations than 2011. ***… Continue Reading

WH Calls for New Methane Emissions Rules

Posted in Energy, Environment
The WSJ has an article on the Administration’s plans to address methane emissions as part of its strategy to address global warming:  "The White House move is part of President Barack Obama’s broader plan announced last June to tackle climate change. The administration’s methane strategy reflects a reluctance to commit right now to new federal… Continue Reading

Ohio EPA Completes Soil Background Report for Lucas County

Posted in Environment
Ohio EPA released a final report summarizing the agency’s investigation and statistical evaluations that were performed to determine the representative background concentrations of certain metals in surface soils in Lucas County.  This information may be used as a reference for properties in Lucas County and the Toledo area that are being assessed and remediated under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program. The… Continue Reading

TSCA: ANPR Submitted to OMB

Posted in Energy, Environment
U.S. EPA has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to initiate a rulemaking under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) designed to obtain data on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing.  See here.  From U.S. EPA’s website: Although EPA has granted the petitioners’ request to… Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Revisions to GHG Reporting Rule for Oil and Gas Industry

Posted in Environment
On March 10, 2014, U.S. EPA published proposed revisions and confidentiality determinations for the petroleum and natural gas source category of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule, 40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W. The amendments to Subpart W include the following: ·         Changes to provide consistency throughout Subpart W, including changing the units of measurement for… Continue Reading

OH: TENORM Guidance Documents

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Ohio Department of Health recently published two guidance documents on TENORM sampling methods and analytical requirements (see here).  Regarding sampling, for example, "ODH strongly recommends that samples of waste containing TENORM be collected for analysis in accordance with any of the protocols and guidance presented in: USEPA 530-D-02-002, August 2002, RCRA Waste Sampling Draft… Continue Reading

PA: New Methane Study

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Patriot-News is reporting on a new study published in the February 2014 Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists:  "Natural gas, the study shows, is often already in the water before any drilling begins. *** The study *** is based on more than 2,300 gas and water samples collected from 234 gas wells and 67… Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Guidance on Diesel Use and HF Activities

Posted in Energy, Environment
U.S. EPA has released revised guidance materials on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing activities.  "EPA is issuing the guidance alongside an interpretive memorandum, which clarifies that class II UIC requirements apply to hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuels, and defines the statutory term diesel fuel by reference to five chemical abstract services… Continue Reading

OH: Gas-Fired Power Plant Proposal

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Dayton Daily News is reporting on a proposed natural-fired power plant proposal for Butler County, Ohio:  "NTE Energy plans to develop, own and operate what it’s calling ‘one of the most efficient natural gas-fired power plants in the United States.’ The facility, to be called the Middletown Energy Center and located on Cincinnati Dayton… Continue Reading

“Popular anti-fracking study discredited by Colorado health department”

Posted in Energy, Environment
That’s the title to a recent article in the Washington Examiner:  "The researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health cited ‘minuscule’ statistical differences and ignored other factors in producing a report on the negative side effects of fracking, according to a statement released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Thursday."… Continue Reading

EPA Data – No Spike in Methane Emissions

Posted in Energy, Environment
Responding to recent claims by environmentalists, the Heartland Institute notes:  "Natural gas fracking is not causing a spike in U.S. methane emissions, the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data show. The data debunk assertions by global warming alarmists that recent declines in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions—caused largely by the increasing use of low-carbon natural gas… Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Final Rule Approves Use of New ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Assessments

Posted in Environment
On December 30, 2013, U.S. EPA published a final rule approving the use of ASTM International’s recently updated standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ASTM E1527-13). The final rule amends the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” at 40 CFR Part 312, by establishing that parties seeking liability relief under CERCLA’s landowner liability protections can satisfy… Continue Reading

New Air Study

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Daily Climate is reporting on a new study that finds that "[n]atural gas plants emit a tiny fraction of the smog-causing gases and slightly more than half of the greenhouse gases emitted by their coal-burning counterparts."  More?  "’Since more and more of our electricity is coming from these cleaner power plants, emissions from the… Continue Reading

Ohio EPA Director Resigns

Posted in Environment
It is being widely reported that Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director, Scott Nally, resigned today.  Craig Butler was appointed as interim Director.  Mr. Butler was pulled from his position as the Governor’s senior policy advisor on, inter alia, environmental issues.  Mr. Butler previously worked at Ohio EPA as Director of the Agency’s Central District Office… Continue Reading

HF Uses Less Water Than Coal Power Plants

Posted in Energy, Environment
A recent article at Environmental Leader starts off:  "Transitioning from coal to natural gas in Texas for electricity generation is saving water and making the state less vulnerable to drought, according to a University of Texas at Austin study published this month in the journal Environmental Research Letters."  More?  "The researchers estimate that water saved… Continue Reading

Hazardous Waste and EPCRA Chemical Inventory Reports Due

Posted in Environment
With 2013 coming to a close, this blog entry is to remind owners/operators of hazardous waste facilities and facilities that are subject to EPCRA hazardous chemical inventory reporting, including producers of oil and natural gas, of their reporting obligations for the 2013 calendar year. Specifically, the 2013 Annual Hazardous Waste Report (and Supplementary Ground Water Monitoring… Continue Reading