Federal Government Issues New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

Two rules impacting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have been issued or proposed by the federal government. EPA has issued emission standards relating to fracking and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a rule for fracking on public and Indian lands.

On April 17, EPA issued a final rule governing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and air toxics resulting from hydraulic fracturing and refracturing. The rule is a revision to existing New Source Performance Standards and applies to several aspects of the oil and natural gas industry. As to fracking, though, the rule finalizes operational standards for completions of hydraulically fractured and refractured gas wells. A well completion is defined as the flowback period beginning after hydraulic fracturing and ending with either well shut-in or when the well continuously flows to the flow line or a storage vessel for collection, whichever occurs first. Continue reading “Federal Government Issues New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules”

2012 Regular Legislative Session —Update on Environmental Legislation

The 2012 Regular Legislative Session ended on June 4, 2012. Most of the environmental bills we were watching never made it out of committee. As of this writing, though, several are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Legacy Lawsuits

HB 618 (Abramson and others) allows any party in a civil matter alleging environmental damage under La. R.S. 30:29 or the LDNR to request the development of an environmental management order. The order will allow access to the property for inspections and testing and mandates sharing of the test results. It also allows a “limited admission” of liability which is not to be constructed as an admission of liability for damages under Section 30:29 or a waiver of any rights or defenses. Instead, the admission is limited to the implementation of the most feasible plan to remediate all or a portion of contamination to applicable regulatory standards. Relates to Code of Civil Procedure Articles 1552 and 1563. Continue reading “2012 Regular Legislative Session —Update on Environmental Legislation”