Monday, August 10, 2020

Shale Law Weekly Review - August 10, 2020

Written by:
Sara Jenkins – Research Assistant 
Jackie Schweichler – Staff Attorney
Kaela Gray – Research Assistant

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national and international legal developments relevant to shale gas.

Air Quality: Colorado Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Amended Air Emissions Regulation Affecting Oil and Gas Producers
On July 29, 2020, a Colorado District Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging an amended air emissions regulation that affected oil and gas producers. (Board of County Comm’rs of Weld County Colorado v. Ryan, No. 20CV31022).  In December 2019, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (Commission) approved changes to State Regulation No. 7, which consists of amended air quality standards for reducing emissions.  Weld County filed suit alleging that the Commission violated state statutes when it failed to give Weld County’s requests, evidence, and recommendations priority before adopting the regulation.  Weld County also claimed that it would be injured through lost tax revenue if oil and gas companies moved locations due to the amended regulation.  The court, however, held that Weld County’s claims failed to meet the required burden to establish standing for judicial review.  The court found that injuries resulting from relocated oil and gas producers were “indirect and incidental.”  The court also held that Weld County’s claimed injuries did not implicate a legally protected right.  The court ultimately granted the Commission’s Motion to Dismiss the case for lack of standing. 

Pipelines: Forest Service Issues Notice for Supplemental EIS on Mountain Valley Pipeline 
On July 30, 2020, the U.S. Forest Service issued a notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Equitrans Expansion Project. (85 FR 45863).  MVP construction is planned to cross 3.5 miles of the Jefferson National Forest.  The Equitrans project, according to its website, is expected to transport up to 600,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day from the Appalachian Basin to Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, and it will connect to the proposed MVP.  The SEIS will supplement a prior environmental impact statement issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and adopted by the Forest Service.  The SEIS is needed to apply Forest Service Planning Rule requirements to soil resources, water, botanical threatened and endangered species, and scenic integrity.  A draft ESIS is expected to be available to the public by September 2020.

Pipelines: FERC Issues Notice on Environmental Assessment for Proposed PennEast Pipeline Amendment Project
On August 7, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice of availability on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed PennEast pipeline amendment project. (85 FR 47960).  PennEast proposed to amend its certificate of public convenience and necessity that was issued by FERC in 2018.  The PennEast 2020 Amendment Project seeks to carry out the previously approved project in two phases.  Phase one would complete construction of pipeline facilities in Pennsylvania, resulting in 650,000 dekatherms per day of gas transportation.  Phase 2 would consist of building facilities in New Jersey after PennEast has obtained construction authorizations from the state.  FERC concluded that PennEast’s Amendment proposal “would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” 

Pipelines: D.C. Court of Appeals Stays Injunction on Dakota Access Pipeline Shutdown 
On August 5, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stayed an injunction that required the shutdown and emptying of the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 20-5197).  Previously, on July 6, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that the Dakota Access Pipeline be emptied and shut down within 30 days. (district court case No. 16-1534, p. 24).  Then, on July 9, 2020, the district court denied an emergency motion to stay the court’s July 6th shutdown order, stating that it did not see a basis to grant a stay.  Following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Notice of Appeal, the Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay of the shutdown order to give it more time to consider the emergency motion for stay.  Ultimately, the Court of Appeals dissolved their administrative stay and stayed the district court injunction, finding that “the district court did not make the findings necessary for injunctive relief.” 

Federal Lands: Federal Court Denies Motion to Enforce Judgment to Reinstate 2016 Royalty Rule
On July 30, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of California denied a Motion to Enforce a judgment to reinstate the 2016 federal royalty rule (2016 rule). (State of California v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, No. C 17-5948 SBA).  The State of California and the State of New Mexico filed suit against the U.S. Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) after it repealed the 2016 rule regarding payments of oil and gas royalties on federal and Indian lands.  The court previously ruled that ONRR’s repeal of the 2016 rule was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and entered judgement reinstating the rule.  Conservation groups then intervened in the case and filed a motion to enforce the judgment.  The Magistrate Judge recommended denying the Motion to Enforce Judgment, and the court accepted his recommendation agreeing that enforcement is “beyond the scope of the Court’s prior Order” and that a new lawsuit is the appropriate way to challenge ONRR’s application of the judgment. 

Federal Lands: Appeals Court Dismisses Lawsuit Regarding 2016 Federal Royalties Rule
On August 5, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit challenging a 2016 federal royalties rule (2016 rule). (American Petroleum Institute v. United States Dept. Interior, No. 18-8070). The 2016 rule amended civil penalties under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.  The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed suit against the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) alleging that the ONRR exceeded its authority in issuing the 2016 rule.  Ultimately, the court held that API lacked standing to file suit and remanded the case back to district court for dismissal.  The court found that API did not demonstrate a “sufficiently imminent threat of injury” needed to establish standing in the case. 

From the National Oil & Gas Law Experts:
Charles Sartain, Partition Agreement Outweighs Coal Surface Destruction Test (August 7, 2020).
Augusta Wilson, Climate Change And Covid-19: The Denial Playbook Is The Same (July 20, 2020). 

AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL

Pennsylvania Department of Energy Press Releases:
Learn How Pennsylvania Will Fight Climate Change with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (August 3, 2020). 

U.S. Department of Energy
Department of Energy Announces $33 Million for Natural Gas Pipeline Retrofitting Projects (August 6, 2020). 
Mark W. Menezes Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Deputy Secretary of Energy (August 4, 2020). 
Trump Administration Releases Policy Extending LNG Export Term to 2050 (July 29, 2020). 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
No relevant releases July 29-August 10

STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE

Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
50 Pa.B. 4112 “2021 Schedule of Filing Dates for Recovery of Purchased Gas Costs; Doc. No. L-00840102” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission- Notice (August 8, 2020). 

Pennsylvania Legislature:
No relevant releases July 31-August 10

FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE

Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Energy Department
85 FR 7672 “Extending Natural Gas Export Authorizations to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries Through the Year 2050” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (February 11, 2020). 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
85 FR 47960 “Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: PennEast Pipeline Co., LLC” Notice (August 7, 2020). 
Land Management Bureau
85 FR 47985 “Proposed Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease: NMNM 137444, New Mexico” Notice (August 7, 2020). 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
85 FR 47190 “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan; Living Coastal and Marine Resources, Marine Mammals and Oysters,” Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc. - Notice (August 4, 2020). 
Office of Natural Resources Revenue
85 FR 47240 “Additional Royalty Payments on Indian Gas Production in Designated Areas That Are Not Associated With an Index Zone” Major Portion Prices and Due Date - Notice (August 4, 2020). 
Presidential Documents
85 FR 46997 “NuStar Logistics, L.P.; Authorization To Construct, Connect, Operate, and Maintain Pipeline Facilities at the U.S.-Mexico International Boundary (Permit of July 29, 2020)” Administrative Order- Presidential Permit (August 3, 2020). 
85 FR 47001 “NuStar Logistics, L.P.; Authorization To Operate and Maintain Existing Pipeline Facilities at the U.S.-Mexico International Boundary (Permit of July 29, 2020)” Administrative Order- Presidential Permit (August 3, 2020). 
85 FR 47005 “TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P.; Authorization To Operate and Maintain Existing Pipeline Facilities at the U.S.-Canada International Boundary (Permit of July 29, 2020)” Administrative Order- Presidential Permit (August 3, 2020). 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Actions: 
 H.R.7878 “To bolster evaluation procedures in consideration of interstate natural gas pipelines in relation to National Scenic Trails, and for other purposes” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (July 30, 2020).

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Actions: 
No relevant releases July 29-August 10

Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive ShaleLaw HotLinks:
“Mountain Valley Pipeline On Track For 2021 Completion,” Reuters
“Chester County Appoints New Law Firm To Fight Pipeline,” Daily Local News
“BP To Cut Oil And Gas Production By 40% Over 10 Years,” Houston Chronicle 
“Oil And Gas Stakeholders Back Plan For Plugging West Virginia's Orphaned Wells,” West Virginia News
“Liberty Utilities Drops Plans For Major Gas Pipeline In N.H.,” NHPR
“Trump Allows Keystone Pipeline to Boost Canadian Oil Capacity after Expansion Stalls,” Hart Energy 
“DAPL Doubts Put Bakken Shale Reboot on Hold,” Hart Energy
“As Natural Gas Bans Go National, Can Cities Fill The Gap?,” EE News

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Want to get updates, but prefer to listen? Check out the Shale Law Podcast! We can always be found on our Libsyn page, iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Check out the February Agricultural Law Brief ! Each month we compile the most significant legal developments in agriculture. If you’d like to receive this update via email, check out our website and subscribe!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Shale Law Weekly Review - August 7, 2020

Written by:
Sara Jenkins – Research Assistant 
Jackie Schweichler – Staff Attorney
Kaela Gray – Research Assistant

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national and international legal developments relevant to shale gas.

National Energy Policy: EPA Issues Final Rule Revising Permit Appeal Process 
On July 22, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that revises the agency’s permit appeal process. (40 CFR Parts 1, 49, 71, and 124).  The final rule affects permits issued by the EPA under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act. (rule summary).  The final rule amends the Environmental Appeals Board’s (EAB) scope for review of decisions limiting review to “findings of fact and conclusions of law that are clearly erroneous.”  The rule also establishes time and page limits for filing amicus briefs and sets term limits for EAB judges to twelve years.  Additionally, the rule gives EAB 60 days to issue a final decision on appeals that have been fully briefed and argued.  EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release that the rule changes would streamline the EAB appeals process and “lead to better certainty and a fairer process for both those applying for EPA permits and for the public.”  The rule will become effective 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. 

Municipal Regulation: Massachusetts Attorney General Disapproves Local Bylaw Banning Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in New Construction 
On July 21, 2020, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General disapproved a local bylaw that banned fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction.  Brookline’s bylaw proposal defined fossil fuel infrastructure as “fuel gas or fuel oil piping” connected to new buildings or buildings being significantly renovated. (see Article 21, p. 22, Warrant).  Brookline passed the bylaw in a local town meeting on November 20, 2019.  However, the Attorney General’s Office disapproved of the bylaw because it conflicted with several state statutes.   Specifically, the bylaw is preempted by the State Building Code, Gas Code, statute G.L. c. 142, §13, and statute G.L. c. 164 which gives other entities authority for regulating construction.  The Attorney General’s office explained that the bylaw was in line with state policy goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but could not be approved because of existing laws.  

Public Lands: BLM Issues Proposed Rule Amending 2016 Regulations for Oil and Gas Measurement and Site Security
On July 29, 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a proposed rule that would amend regulations from 2016 regarding oil and gas measurement and site security. (43 CFR Part 3170).  The three 2016 regulations subject to the proposed rule are: “Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Site Security,” “Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Measurement of Oil,” and “Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Measurement of Gas.” (see 81 FR 81365, 81 FR 81462, and 81 FR 81516).  BLM explained that they chose to amend the 2016 regulations following a review initiated by Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”  The proposed rule reduces certain requirements for site security and production handling and adds Production Management Team reviews for certain oil and gas measurement methods.  BLM is accepting public comments for the proposed rule until 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. 

LNG Exports/National Energy Policy: Department of Energy Issues Final Policy Extending Natural Gas Export Authorizations Through 2050
On July 29, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Final Policy Statement for extending natural gas export authorizations through 2050. (10 CFR Part 590). DOE’s new policy applies to requests for exporting domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas, and compressed gas liquid to non-free trade agreement countries.  The notice changes DOE policy from authorizing standard 20-year terms to the new 2050 extension.  In the final policy statement, DOE described the implementation process for the 2050 term extension and how applicants and current 20-year term holders can request the extension.  DOE also responded to 22 public comments that it received in response to the proposed policy.  The Policy Statement will become effective on the date it is published in the Federal Register. 

From the National Oil & Gas Law Experts:
George Bibikos, PA Superior Court Says Lessee not Liable for Lease Broker’s Activities (July 28, 2020). 
George Bibikos, Wash. Appellate Court Upholds Conviction of Protester Over "Necessity" Defense (July 28, 2020).
Charles Sartain, Challenge to a Tax Sale Comes Too Late (July 28, 2020).
John McFarland, Post-Production Costs Podcast (July 30, 2020).  
Amy Turner, Municipal Natural Gas Bans: Round 2 (The Evolution Of State Preemption Law) (July 28, 2020). 

AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL

Pennsylvania Department of Energy Press Releases:
No relevant releases July 27–August 3, 2020.

U.S. Department of Energy
President Trump announced the Department of Energy is issuing a final policy statement about liquefied natural gas exports (July 29, 2020).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
No relevant releases July 27–August 3, 2020.

STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE

Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
50 Pa.B. 3845 “Unconventional Well Permit Application Fee Amendments” Environmental Quality Board Final Form Rulemaking (August 1, 2020).

Pennsylvania Legislature:
HB 2712 “An Act amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in development, further providing for hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure requirements” Referred to Environmental Resources And Energy (July 30, 2020) [House]

FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE

Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
85 FR 45869 “Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC; Regional Energy Access Expansion Project” Notice of Environmental Assessments; Availability (July 30, 2020).

Land Management Bureau
85 FR 45440 “Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Project” Record of decision (July 28, 2020).
85 FR 46171 “Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project, Converse County, WY” Notice of Environmental Impact Statements; Availability (July 31, 2020).

Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration
85 FR 46218 “Pipeline Safety: Gas and Liquid Advisory Committee” Notice of Requests for Nominations (July 31, 2020).

House Energy and Commerce Committee Actions:
H.R.7878 “To bolster evaluation procedures in consideration of interstate natural gas pipelines in relation to National Scenic Trails, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (July 30, 2020).

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Actions: 
No relevant actions July 27–August 3, 2020.

Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive ShaleLaw HotLinks:
“Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Sells Pipeline Assets,” Oil And Gas Journal
“Potential Pipeline Delays Could Increase Permian Flaring,” Oil and Gas Journal
“Industry Cites 'Burden' Of Pa. Methane Emissions Plan,” EE News
“Deutsche Bank Says It Will No Longer Invest In Fracking Or Arctic Oil As Banks Turn Away From Fossil Fuels,” The Hill
“Orphan Well Cleanup Program Could Create Jobs, New Report Finds,” Casper Star Tribune
“Enviros Vow To Sue Over 'Reckless' LNG Rule,” EE News

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Want to get updates, but prefer to listen? Check out the Shale Law Podcast! We can always be found on our Libsyn page, iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Check out the February Agricultural Law Brief ! Each month we compile the most significant legal developments in agriculture. If you’d like to receive this update via email, check out our website and subscribe!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Shale Law Weekly Review - July 28, 2020

Written by:
Sara Jenkins – Research Assistant 
Jackie Schweichler – Staff Attorney
Kaela Gray – Research Assistant

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national and international legal developments relevant to shale gas.

Public Lands: Federal Court Vacates BLM Rule Revising Natural Gas Venting and Flaring Requirements
On July 15, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California vacated a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule that revised natural gas waste prevention requirements. (State of California v. Bernhardt, No. 4:18-cv-05712-YGR).  In 2016, BLM promulgated a rule (2016 rule) to “reduce waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks” on land with Federal and Indian leases.  In 2018, BLM issued a new rule (2018 rule) that revised and rescinded some of the regulations in the 2016 rule.  The District Court concluded that BLM’s rulemaking process for the 2018 rule was “wholly inadequate.”  The court found that BLM’s amended definition of “waste” in the 2018 rule was arbitrary.  The court also found that while engaging in the rulemaking process for the 2018 rule, BLM violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.  The court ultimately vacated the 2018 rule, but it provided a 90-day grace period to give the parties time to determine their next steps in response to the court’s ruling. 

Pipelines: Louisiana Appellate Court Awards Damages to Landowners for Pipeline Violation of Due Process Rights 
On July 16, 2020, the Louisiana State Court of Appeal awarded damages to landowners after finding that their due process rights were violated by the Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. (Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC v. 38.00 Acres More or Less located in St. Martin Parish, No. CA 19-565). Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC (BBP) began construction of its pipeline on certain landowners’ property before being granted expropriation by the trial court.  Louisiana statute La.R.S. 19:8(A)(3) and Landowners’ property rights both required BBP to obtain permission to use the lands for public benefit before beginning construction.  Thus, the court found that BBP “willfully, wantonly, and recklessly” violated the landowners’ due process rights.  The court awarded damages to each landowner in the amount of $10,000 for BBP’s violation and remanded the case back to the trial court to award landowners’ attorney’s fees and expert witness costs. 

Labor Law: Department of Labor Issues Guidance on COVID-19 for Oil and Gas Workers 
On July 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance on COVID-19 to help protect workers in the oil and gas field. According to OSHA’s news release, the guidance includes information on how industry workers should perform work requiring close contact, implement 6-foot spacing environments, stagger work schedules, maintain good ventilation, etc.  The guidance lists specific sections of information for engineering controls, administrative controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment.  The guidance also includes examples of work tasks associated with exposure risk levels. 

Pipelines: Department of Interior Determines Andeavor/Tesoro Pipeline Has Been Trespassing on Indian Lands 
On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) issued a Notification of Trespass Determination for the Andeavor/Tesoro Pipeline located across the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.  According to the Notification, the pipeline’s right-of-way expired in 2013.  Because Andeavor/Tesoro failed to renew the right-of-way, the pipeline has been operating in trespass for seven years.  Federal regulation allows for the BIA to issue penalties for trespass on Tribal and BIA lands. (See 25 CFR § 166.801).  In the Notification, BIA issued a cease and desist order for the use of the pipeline.  BIA also included an assessment for total damages in the amount of $187,158,636.00 to be paid by Andeavor/Tesoro within 30 days of the receipt of the letter. 

Public Lands: U.S. Congress Passes Conservation Bill Involving Revenues from Oil and Gas Development on Federal Lands 
On July 24, 2020, the U.S. Congress presented a conservation bill to President Trump that involves the use of revenues from oil and gas development on federal lands.  The bill, H.R. 1957, is also known as the Great American Outdoors Act.  The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 73 to 25, and the House approved the Senate’s amendments in a 310 to 107 vote.  The bill establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which will be funded by 50 percent of all “energy development revenues . . . from oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy development on Federal land.”  The fund is to be used for the maintenance of lands under the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the Bureau of Indian Education schools, among other agencies. 

Methane Emissions: New Mexico Issues New Regulations for Natural Gas Emissions
On July 20, 2020, New Mexico released a draft of new regulations to curb natural gas emissions in the state.  The objective of the regulation is to reduce venting and flaring of natural gas from production sites to prevent waste and protect health.  The regulation’s definition of natural gas includes a “mixture of hydrocarbon compounds, primarily composed of methane.”  The draft does not allow flaring of natural gas during completion operations unless there is a risk to the safety of the operations.  Additionally, the draft includes a table of examples for statewide natural gas capture requirements.

From the National Oil & Gas Law Experts:
Charles Sartain, “Construction” of a Well Pad Requires More than a Survey (July 21, 2020).
John McFarland, Another Chapter in Jimmy McAllen’s Fight with Forest Oil (July 23, 2020).
John McFarland, TexNet is adding an earthquake monitoring station in Odessa (July 20, 2020).

AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL

Pennsylvania Department of Energy Press Releases:
No relevant releases July 20–27, 2020. 

U.S. Department of Energy
No relevant releases July 20–27, 2020.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Department of Energy Announces Energy Incubator Prize and Funding Opportunity (July 20, 2020).

STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE

Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
50 Pa.B. 3804 “Limited Suspension of Enforcement of the Commercial Fuel Oil Sulfur Content Limit Requirements for Combustion Units for Certain Distributors and Retail Outlets,” Department of Environmental Protection Notice (July 25, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3714 “Revision of the Maximum Allowable Sulfur Content Limit for No. 2 and Lighter Commercial Fuel Oil,” Environmental Quality Board (july 25, 2020). 

Pennsylvania Legislature:
No relevant releases July 20–27, 2020.

FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE

Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Environmental Protection Agency
85 FR 43706 “Deletion of the Hormigas Ground Water Plume Superfund Site” National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List— Rule (July 20, 2020).
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
85 FR 44291 “Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; FLNG Liquefaction, LLC; FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC; FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC; Noble Gas Project” Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.— Notice (July 22, 2020).
85 FR 44295 “Request for Extension of Time Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC; Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc.” Notice (July 22, 2020).
85 FR 44873 “ANR Pipeline Co., Alberta Xpress Project; Great Lakes Transmission Limited Partnership, Lease Capacity Abandonment Project” Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.— Notice (July 24, 2020). 
International Trade Administration
85 FR 44280 “Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From India” Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews— Notice (July 22, 2020).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
85 FR 43819 “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Phase II Restoration Plan; Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component” Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.— Notice (July 20, 2020).
Ocean Energy Management Bureau
85 FR 43875 “Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Region-wide Lease Sale 256” Oil and Gas Lease Sales— Notice (July 20, 2020).
Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration
85 FR 44477 “Safety of Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities; Correction” Pipeline Safety—  Rule (July 23, 2020). 
85 FR 44994 “Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail” Hazardous Materials—  Rule (July 24, 2020). 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Actions:
No relevant actions July 20–27, 2020.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Actions: 
S.4311 “A bill to amend the Mineral Leasing Act to eliminate an administrative fee, and for other purposes” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (July 23, 2020).
S.4223 “A bill to amend the Mineral Leasing Act to ensure market competition in onshore oil and gas leasing, and for other purposes” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (July 20, 2020).

Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive ShaleLaw HotLinks:
“Leaders Of #NoDAPL Movement Await Pipeline Shutdown,” Bismarck Tribune
“Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro Promises More In Natural Gas Investigation,” Pittsburgh Business Times
“20 States Sue Over Trump Rule Limiting States from Blocking Pipeline Projects,” The Hill
“A Pipeline Is Quietly Ordered Shut in New Signal of Shale’s Woes,” Bloomberg
“Trump Proposes Speedier Environmental Reviews for Highways, Pipelines, Drilling and Mining,” Inside Climate News
“Coronavirus Surge, Renewed Lockdowns Fan Fresh Worries About Global Fuel Demand,” (Reuters)
“From NEPA to North Dakota, 4 Pipeline Fights to Watch,” EE News

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Want to get updates, but prefer to listen? Check out the Shale Law Podcast! We can always be found on our Libsyn page, iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Check out the February Agricultural Law Brief ! Each month we compile the most significant legal developments in agriculture. If you’d like to receive this update via email, check out our website and subscribe!