shutterstock_206483089Seyfarth Partner Andrew H. Perellis is quoted in this Forbes Legal News article today, Sierra Club’s Legal Theory In Frackquake Case Draws ‘Star Trek’ Comparison (March 31, 2016).

The article concerns a complaint filed on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Sierra Club v. Chesapeake Operating LLC, Devon Energy Production Co. LP, and
Continue Reading Is Increased Seismic Activity from the Disposal of Fracking Fluid Actionable Under RCRA?

By Patrick D. Joyce and Craig B. Simonsen

pumpjack, West Texas, cottonwood treeThe U.S. EPA announced earlier this week a proposed rule to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal is nearly 600 pages long. Proposed rule (August 18, 2015).

The proposed rule will add methane to the list of gasses
Continue Reading Proposed Rule for Methane and VOC Controls in Oil and Gas Industry

By Patrick D. Joyce and Craig B. Simonsen

Blog - Fracking WaterThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment study last week showing that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activities in the U.S. may have potential impacts on the water lifecycle, affecting drinking water resources. 80 Fed. Reg. 32111 (June 5, 2015).

The report, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil
Continue Reading EPA Finds Low Potential Impacts on Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing

By Brent I. Clark and Craig B. Simonsen

iStock_000062437178MediumOSHA and its sister agency the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have just released a “Hazard Alert” on Worker Exposure to Silica During Countertop Manufacturing, Finishing and Installation.

We had previously blogged about NIOSH’s “Hazard Alert” for Worker Exposure to Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing. In addition,
Continue Reading Hazard Alert on Worker Exposure to Silica in Countertop Manufacturing Industry

By Philip L. Comella and Craig B. Simonsen

In another move to implement the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration today announced a new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.

According to EPA, methane emissions accounted for nearly ten percent of U.S. greenhouse
Continue Reading EPA Plan for Methane Controls In Oil and Gas Industry

By Brent I. Clark and Craig B. Simonsen

OSHA has just released a new Safety Bulletin on “Hydraulic Fracturing and Flowback Hazards Other than Respirable Silica” (OSHA 3763-12 2014).

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping large volumes of fluid blended with proppant and chemicals at pressures necessary to fracture a “hydrocarboncontaining formation.” According to OSHA, each year, an estimated 35,000
Continue Reading New OSHA Hazard Safety Bulletin for the Hydraulic Fracturing Industries

By Patrick D. Joyce, Philip L. Comella, and Craig B. Simonsen

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ proposed rules on “High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing” were recently approved, and will soon be published in the Illinois Register.

Bloomberg BNA reported that the Illinois’ Joint Commission for Administrative Rules (JCAR), approved the DNR rules implementing the Part
Continue Reading Illinois Rules on “High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing” Become Law

By Craig B. Simonsen

Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discussed yesterday’s Supreme Court opinion, and other topics, while speaking before the Air and Waste Management’s Association’s Annual Conference today.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled, in-part, that “EPA lacked authority to ‘tailor’ the Clean Air Act’s unambiguous numerical thresholds of 100 or 250
Continue Reading McCabe Addresses Supreme Court Decision and Other Topics – EPA is “Very Pleased”

By James L. Curtis, Kerry M. Mohan, and Craig B. Simonsen

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health blogged yesterday about reports of worker fatalities during oil and gas extraction flowback operations. Flowback refers to process fluids from the wellbore that return to the surface and are collected after hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is completed.

According to information collected
Continue Reading NIOSH Investigating Worker Deaths From Acute Chemical Exposures During Fracking Activities

By Patrick D. Joyce

This week Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and 61 others filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urging the Agency to list oil and gas wells using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) near urban areas as “area sources” under the Clean Air Act.

The petition comes days after EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
Continue Reading Environmental Groups Urge EPA to Limit Air Pollution from Fracking Activities Near Urban Areas