Ohio’s Fugitive Emissions Regulations

Authored by:  Zahava Bennett and Eli Humphries Many energy prospectors, including the T. Boone Pickens, have viewed natural gas as a bridge fuel leading to a more sustainable future.  Although natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, there is concern that a valuable resource is being wasted and additional pollution is being created by… Read More »

New York Court of Appeals Considers Fracking Bans

In August 2011, the Town of Dryden, New York amended its zoning ordinance to ban all activities related to the exploration, production or storage of natural gas and petroleum. Petitioner Norse Energy’s predecessor in interest, Anschutz Exploration Corporation, owning leases covering approximately 22,200 acres of land in the Town of Dryden, initiated an action seeking… Read More »

Lawsuit May Provide Clarity on PA Environmental Rights Amendment

On May 9, 2014, the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) filed a petition in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania seeking to enjoin Governor Corbett from proceeding by executive order to enable energy companies to conduct horizontal drilling on private lands adjacent to State parks and forest lands.  The PEDF filed the petition in a pending… Read More »

Two Texas Juries Award Damages to Homeowners in Fracking Cases

On May 23, 2014, a Texas jury awarded a Tarrant County couple $20,000 in damages after finding that natural gas drilling activities near their property constituted a temporary private nuisance.  The case, Crowder et al. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., was initially filed in November 2011 and claimed that the fumes, noise, dust, and truck traffic… Read More »

The D.C. Circuit Court Rejects EPA Guidance on Source Aggregation

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled upon a petition filed by an industry coalition which objected to the manner in which USEPA intended to implement the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Summit Petroleum Corp. v. EPA in 2012 which found the agency’s policy regarding whether multiple sources of air emissions should be… Read More »

Changes Proposed to Endangered Species Act

The Obama Administration and the House Natural Resources Committee have each proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The changes proposed by the House Natural Resources Committee focus on giving additional transparency to the process of listing decisions by making the data used by the agencies publicly available.  Additionally the House Natural Resources Committee’s… Read More »

Colorado Ruling Upholds Renewable Energy Standard but Leaves Questions Unanswered

On May 9, 2014, a Colorado federal judge dismissed a suit challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard (“RES”). Colorado’s RES was created by the passage of Amendment 37 in 2004 and codified in 2005 as Colorado Revised Statute § 40-2-124, requiring certain Colorado electric utilities to procure a specific percentage of its retail… Read More »

EPA Issues Final Rule on Cooling Water Intakes at Existing Facilities

On May 19, EPA issued a final rule implementing Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) governing the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures (“CWIS”) at existing power generating and manufacturing facilities. This rule serves to protect fish and other organisms from impingement and entrainment in CWIS and covers approximately… Read More »

Methane Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Production and Use – How Accurate are the Estimates?

During a recent Environmental Law Institute teleconference, the climate change director of the US EPA’s air office cautioned that a better understanding is needed before drawing any conclusions from the top down or atmospheric sampling that was done to determine the level of methane emissions from the oil and gas industries. 

Northern Long-Eared Bat Update

Since the October 2, 2013 proposed listing of the Northern Long Eared Bat (NLEB) as endangered or threatened, over thirty-seven thousand comments, letters of concern and support have been filed with the agency. (78 Fed. Reg. 61046).  The USFWS has determined that the NLEB is in danger of extinction, predominantly due to the threat of… Read More »