Policy Update Notices

Policy Update Notices

General Policies

  • EPA Reverses Course with Final Report on Impacts from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities on Drinking Water

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reversed its scientific report on the impacts from hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources. The report stated that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources in the United States under some circumstances, and also identifies uncertainties and data gaps.  The agency claims that these uncertainties and data…
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  • U.S. Key State-Level Hydraulic Fracturing Activities

    Colorado: Several cities in the state – including Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Longmont – have voted over the last several years to temporarily or permanently halt drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing within city limits.  The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) sued Longmont, Lafayette and Fort Collins on the grounds that local governments are preempted…
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  • National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations Update

    National Park Service Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations:  On November 4, 2016, the National Park Service (“NPS”) issued final amendments to its oil and gas regulations that include well stimulation disclosure requirements.  The disclosure requirements mirror the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requirements, including the trade secret protection provisions that require operators to make trade secret claims. …
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Federal Policies

  • EPA Reverses Course with Final Report on Impacts from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities on Drinking Water

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reversed its scientific report on the impacts from hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources. The report stated that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources in the United States under some circumstances, and also identifies uncertainties and data gaps.  The agency claims that these uncertainties and data…
    Read More
  • National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations Update

    National Park Service Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations:  On November 4, 2016, the National Park Service (“NPS”) issued final amendments to its oil and gas regulations that include well stimulation disclosure requirements.  The disclosure requirements mirror the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requirements, including the trade secret protection provisions that require operators to make trade secret claims. …
    Read More
  • BLM Regulations

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued a final rule to regulate HF on federal and tribal lands in March 2015.  The rule was challenged by two industry groups, the states of Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado and Utah, and the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.  Several environmental groups intervened in…
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  • EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Report Update

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released its draft final assessment of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“HF”) on drinking water on June 4, 2015.  EPA found specific instances of above and below ground mechanisms by which HF has the potential to impact drinking water resources (“vulnerabilities”), including (i) spills of HF fluid and…
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  • PESA Joins Gulf Energy Alliance

    PESA is proud to recently have joined the Gulf Energy Alliance. Led by independent producers in the Gulf – Fieldwood Energy, Talos Energy, Energy XXI, and Arena Energy – the Alliance is dedicated to supporting policies and regulations that encourage investment, innovation, and job creation in the offshore energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico….
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  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    The EPA has indicated that by June 2017 it plans to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to follow up on its May 2014 Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) regarding whether to obtain data on HF chemicals under section 8 of the Act.  The ANPRM sought comment on: to what…
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  • Forecasting What the 2016 Election Means for the Oilfield

    While a change in tone on federal energy and environmental policy is likely to come under President-elect Donald Trump, the oilfield should be ready to pivot its attention as activist groups shift their attention towards the states and courts. While President Obama’s term saw a dramatic increase in US oil and gas production and the…
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  • BSEE’s SafeOCS Reporting System Expands

    The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is now able to receive confidential equipment failure reports through the SafeOCS program and website. For several years, SafeOCS has allowed companies and employees working in the offshore oil and gas industry to confidentially and voluntarily report “near misses” occurring on the Outer Continental Shelf. Recent regulations,…
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  • PESA Submits Letter to EPA Administrator on Hydraulic Fracturing Study

    In August, PESA wrote EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the agency to continue to follow scientific findings regarding the safety of hydraulic fracturing.  The letter comes following the release of an advisory panel’s review of the EPA’s study examining hydraulic fracturing and drinking water. The EPA “did not find evidence hydraulic fracturing has ‘led to…
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  • BSEE Holds Well Control Rule Implementation Workshop

     The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) recently held a workshop in Houston on implementation of the offshore Well Control Rule.   During the session, BSEE staff discussed the work they have done regarding implementation of the new regulation, as well as upcoming deadlines impacting equipment manufacturers, drilling contractors, and operating companies.  Since the…
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State-Level Policies

  • U.S. Key State-Level Hydraulic Fracturing Activities

    Colorado: Several cities in the state – including Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Longmont – have voted over the last several years to temporarily or permanently halt drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing within city limits.  The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) sued Longmont, Lafayette and Fort Collins on the grounds that local governments are preempted…
    Read More
  • Forecasting What the 2016 Election Means for the Oilfield

    While a change in tone on federal energy and environmental policy is likely to come under President-elect Donald Trump, the oilfield should be ready to pivot its attention as activist groups shift their attention towards the states and courts. While President Obama’s term saw a dramatic increase in US oil and gas production and the…
    Read More
  • Hydraulic Fracturing: Colorado Newspaper & Pennsylvania Doctors Latest Voices in Debate

    While recent political focus has been on the ballot box, the debate over hydraulic fracturing continues in states across the country. On November 4, the Editorial Board of the Denver Post voiced its strong support for hydraulic fracturing.  According to the editorial: Hydraulic fracturing “has been a very good thing for the country and it…
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  • Expansion of Road Damage Suit to Service Companies Raises Concerns

    Dimmit County, in the Eagle Ford region of Texas, recently amended its suit against Murphy Oil to name numerous oilfield service companies alleging damage to a county-owned road. The county’s suit argues that the named operating companies, drilling contractors, and oilfield service and equipment providers operated trucks over the 6.9-mile road “in an unreasonable and…
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  • Key State-Level Activities

    Pennsylvania: The state Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of implementing the requirements of the new oil and gas law.  As currently proposed, the regulations would require confidential disclosure to the Department of chemicals intentionally added to the stimulation fluid by name and CAS number as well as maximum concentration in the fluid….
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  • State Level Activities

    Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) is in the process of revising its regulations and forms to implement the requirements of the new oil and gas law.  PADEP is expected to release the new well completion forms and the Confidential Chemical Registration form to implement the trade secret provisions soon.  PADEP released changes…
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  • New York Formalizes Ban on Fracking

    The New York Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday officially banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state despite the EPA’s multi-year study on hydraulic fracturing concluded that the extraction process has “not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” nor did the decade-long spread of fracking cause extensive damage to…
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  • Proposed Pennsylvania’s Gas Severance Threatens Energy Development, Study Finds

    The Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania (API-PA) released a study May 7 that revealed the potential for economic damage if a proposed natural gas severance tax is passed by state lawmakers. The report analyzed the impact of Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to add a 5 percent tax on the value of the natural gas extracted…
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  • Wyoming: State to strengthen fracking chemical disclosure requirements

    The Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission agreed to a settlement on January 23 that strengthens its criteria for requests to protect confidentiality of chemicals used in fracking operations. Currently, the Wyoming Public Records Act (WPRA) requires that oil and gas companies disclose information about the chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing operations. Companies my request an exemption on…
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  • Texas: College Station passes updated oil and gas ordinance

    On January 22, the College Station City Council unanimously approved its updated oil and gas ordinance. The revised ordinance requires drilling companies to pay to repair the roads they use and also establishes a 600 foot setback from residences. Some residents at the meeting spoke out against the proposal, advocating for 1,500-foot setbacks. [email_link]
  • Texas: Regulators reverse decision on less inspections

    The Texas Railroad Commission recently pulled its proposal for increased inspections at urban drilling sites. Executive Director Milton Rister said there is no indication that there are higher rates of noncompliance by oil and gas operators in urban area than anywhere else in the state. Instead, Rister has proposed adding a community liaison officer in the agency’s Forth…
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  • Pennsylvania: Bill to protect small drillers

    A bill to protect small oil and gas producers from state regulations has cleared initial hurdles within the Pennsylvania State Senate. SB 297 by Sen. Scott Hutchinson is supported by “mom and pop” drillers as necessary to protect jobs and bottom lines. The bill calls for creation of a Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council to advise state…
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  • Pennsylvania: Peters Township forms group to study future of fracking

    Council Members in Peters Township voted unanimously on January 26 to form a working group to study whether drilling should be allowed within the municipality. The Council had hoped to have a new ordinance regarding drilling practices in place by next month, but said it was more important to have a well-researched ordinance in place. Working group members…
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Notices

  • Policy Update Notices

    Jan. 22: FERC is pushing back its January meeting by one week because the holidays interfere with preparation time. January’s meeting will now take place on the fourth Thursday of the month, Jan. 22. FERC also announced that its Feb. 19 meeting will begin an hour earlier than usual to accommodate a technical conference on…
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