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Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (July 2015)

July 21, 2015

 

We are providing our quarterly update on laws, regulations, and policies affecting hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations. Our last installment was issued April 28, 2015, and may be found here.

Foremost among current developments are: (1) the publication of the long-awaited Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) report on the impact of fracking on drinking water, (2) challenges to the U.S. Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) final rule on fracking, (3) the Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) issuance of the final standards on crude-by-rail transport and the implementation by several states of rail safety rules, and (4) the release of New York’s environmental impact statement supporting a statewide ban on fracking. In many instances, information provided in our previous updates has been referenced below in order to provide context, and we encourage readers to refer to previous installments (as linked in the text) for a more in-depth analysis.

FEDERAL REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS

A. EPA’s Fracking and Water Study Released

On June 4, 2015, the EPA published its long-awaited report analyzing potential impacts of fracking on drinking water. The report found no evidence that fracking has led to a “widespread, systemic impact on drinking water resources in the United States.” Although the report did find specific instances of contamination of drinking water wells (and other impacts on drinking water resources) the EPA concluded that such cases are limited compared to the total number of fracking wells. Compiling data drawn from 950 studies, this EPA report is the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. The EPA states that the report is not a policy document, but should serve as a “critical resource” for government authorities and industry to formulate water policy.1

The risks assessed by the report are currently overseen primarily by states, including water withdrawals in water-deprived areas, fracking directly into drinking water formations, improperly built wells, mismanagement of wastewater, and spills of flowback and produced water. States such as Colorado, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have updated their regulations to address these risks. Some commentators have noted that the EPA report supports continued state primacy over the oil and gas industry, and that no broader national legislation on fracking is needed.

B. March 2015 BLM Final Rule Stayed pending consideration of challenges

As reported in our April edition, industry groups and several states filed separate lawsuits against the DOI, seeking an injunction to prevent BLM’s rule governing fracking on federal and tribal lands (“Final Rule”) from going into effect.

After filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming (“Wyoming District Court”) on March 20, 2015,2 the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance submitted briefs on May 15, 2015, claiming that the Final Rule is arbitrary, cannot be administered technically, violates federal law, and fails to account for economic impact. The DOI argues in its brief submitted on June 1, 2015, that the industry groups’ challenge ignores the Agency’s reasoning set forth in the Final Rule. Further, the DOI argues that the Final Rule will involve only modest compliance costs.

The States of Wyoming and Colorado sought to halt the implementation of the Final Rule in a separate lawsuit in the Wyoming District Court,3 arguing that the states will suffer an immediate loss of their exclusive sovereign authority if the Final Rule were to come into effect, with North Dakota and Utah successfully intervening in the lawsuit. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe also intervened, arguing for the implementation of a preliminary injunction and claiming that the Final Rule contradicts tribal self-determination and self-governance.

On June 2, 2015, several environmental groups intervened in both the Independent Petroleum Association suit4 and the Wyoming suit5, stating that the government does not adequately represent their interests. On June 23, 2015, after consolidating the two cases and one day before the planned effective date of the Final Rule, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming ordered a stay of the effective date until the BLM files its administrative record with the court, which is due on August 28, 2015. The judge is expected to decide on the request for a preliminary injunction by the end of September 2015.

C. Osage Nation Final Rule

On July 1, 2015, Osage Minerals Council, an agency in the Osage Nation, and Osage Producers’ Association, an industry group, filed separate lawsuits6 in Oklahoma federal court seeking to strike down the final rule published by the DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs that would revise oil and gas mining regulations on the tribe’s reservation. The rule would update leasing procedures and the rental, operations, safety and royalty requirements for oil and gas production on Osage mineral lands. The Osage Producers’ Association claims that the revised regulations are unconstitutionally arbitrary and impose unreasonable costs. The Osage Minerals Council claims that the rule “imposes requirements that are arbitrary, unsubstantiated, lack justification and are unnecessary,” would be impossible to comply with, and would destroy the development of the mineral estate. On July 10, 2015, the court ordered the July 8th effective date of the Final Rule be delayed until August 10, 2015, the hearing date for plaintiffs’ motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.7

D. Other Federal Developments

On June 16, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved an appropriations bill that significantly cuts funding for EPA and would block BLM from implementing new regulations on fracking (see discussion above). On June 18, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar appropriations bill. EPA’s overall spending would be cut by $539 million, primarily due to reduction of the state revolving loan programs for drinking water and wastewater systems. The White House has threatened to veto any legislation that would roll back environmental protections or policies.

EPA extended the public comment period to July 17, 2015, for the proposed rule that would set the standards for wastewater pretreatment for wastewater from onshore unconventional oil and gas (“UOG”) extraction facilities to publicly owned treatment works.8 (See OMM January 13, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations). Although no UOG currently discharges wastewater to public systems, the EPA regards the rule as necessary because onshore extraction facilities do discharge wastewater into public systems.

RAIL TRANSPORTATION

E. DOT Standard for Crude-by-Rail Transportation

On May 1, 2015, the DOT released Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (“Standards”), the final version of updated safety standards for crude-by-rail transportation. (See OMM April 28, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations). The Standards mandate a phase-out of older tank cars between January 2018 (non-jacketed DOT-111 rail cars) and May 2025 (all DOT-111 and CPC-1232 rail cars),9 implements enhanced standards for new tank cars built for use after October 1, 2015, and requires better electronic braking systems for trains carrying flammable materials. The Standards apply to trains comprised of a continuous block of 20 or more tank cars loaded with flammable liquid, or 35 or more tank cars loaded with a flammable liquid across the entire train.

On May 6, 2015, a train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in North Dakota.10 The Federal Railroad Administration, in a statement on the derailment, said that this incident was the type of hazard that the Standards are intended to prevent, and that it highlighted the need for a significant, comprehensive rule to improve the safety of flammable liquids transportation.11

F. Lawsuits in Response to the Crude-by-Rail Rule

On May 11, 2015, the American Petroleum Institute (“API”) filed a lawsuit12 against the Standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (‘D.C. Circuit”), asking the court to set aside the timeline for phase-out of tank cars, certain brake requirements, and operational requirements. A similar lawsuit filed by smaller railroad companies on May 18, 2015, was consolidated with the challenge by API.

Several environmental groups challenged the Standards in the Seventh Circuit,13 arguing that the Standards are inadequate. The environmentalists petitioned to the Ninth Circuit to review the Standards, arguing that the phase-out period is unduly long, and that it is arbitrary to establish a weaker standard for retrofits than that applicable to new tank cars. The environmental groups have agreed to move the case to the D.C. Circuit where the DOT’s API challenge is ongoing.

The federal government is anticipated to roll out rules that address issues beyond those contained in the Standards. Upcoming regulations are expected to require comprehensive oil spill response plans from flammable liquids-carrying trains and mandate more crew members on trains.14

G. PHMSA Audit by General Inspector

The DOT’s Office of Inspector General has planned to conduct an audit of the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration’s (“PHMSA”) progress in acting upon congressional mandates and federal agency recommendations since 2005.15 Commencing in May, the audit will also identify obstacles faced by PHMSA and its coordination with other agencies.

H. Related Federal Developments

In an effort to implement the disclosure provisions in the crude-by-rail Standards, the PHMSA issued an information collection request seeking comment from owners of flammable liquid tanker cars. The Standards require certain owners of old tank cars to report the number of tank cars that have not been retrofitted to new standards in January 2017 and submit any additional reports that the DOT requests “with reasonable notice.” It is estimated that the additional reports would cost $1000 annually to an estimated additional 50 respondents.

A 2014 emergency order requiring disclosure of crude oil carriage will stay in effect, despite being superseded by the Standards (see also OMM September 2, 2014, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations). The emergency order requires all railroads operating trains that contain more than one million gallons of Bakken crude oil to inform State Emergency Response Commissions (“SERCs”) about the operation of these trains through their state. The final Standards have no similar requirement of disclosure to SERCs. The clarification that the emergency order will stay in effect lifted the concerns from some public interest groups and elected officials that the Standards may be interpreted to impose less stringent obligations of disclosure than would have been required by the emergency order.16

Even after the release of the finalized Standards, lawmakers continue to propose legislation to address rail safety, including: a bill that would impose an interim limit on the volatility of crude oil transported by rail until the DOI comes to a final determination regarding the national maximum volatility standard; a bill that sets out rules for rail transportation of hazardous materials and would implement safety standards outlined by the National Transportation Safety Board; a bill that would impose fees on older rail tank cars and offer tax credits for upgrading the tank cars17; and legislation that would move up the deadline contained in the Standards by five years for phasing out of non-retrofitted DOT-111 and CPC-1232 tank cars, impose more stringent speed requirements, add a requirement for positive train control systems, and mandate more thorough oil response plans for certain trains.

I. Related State Developments

Washington State enacted Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1449, a rail transportation safety law that partially addresses crude-by-rail transportation. The law requires refineries to inform the state ecology department prior to transportation of oil by rail. The law also provides for heightened inspection of crude-by-rail facilities and crossings, spill-response planning, and an updated definition of oil to explicitly include bitumen, synthetic crude, and natural-gas well condensate.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf urged railroad companies CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. to voluntarily improve their safety measures for crude-by-rail shipments in public letters.18 The Governor expressed “continuing concern about the risks of a crude-by-rail derailment, tank car breach and subsequent explosion” against the background of recent derailments in Iowa, Virginia, Illinois, and North Dakota. The letters made the suggestion of lowering speeds of shale crude oil trains, increasing rail detection testing frequencies along certain waterways, and adding more hot box detectors along waterways.

On June 3, 2015, the New York State Comptroller requested 14 oil and rail companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Hess Corp., CSX Corp., and ConocoPhillips Co., to provide information on the companies’ safety measures after several occurrences of derailments of oil carrying trains. The Comptroller, as the sole trustee of New York’s $183 billion pension fund, acted in response to an investor’s query about the companies’ potential liabilities for injuries, damages, or cleanup costs related to oil spills.

On June 17, 2015, the District Court of the Eastern District California dismissed a railroad industry’s challenge of a new law regulating crude-by-rail transportation, finding that the regulation is still in the drafting phase and so the railroads “cannot be coerced into complying with regulations that are not in force or even in existence.”

J. Related International Developments

On May 20, 2015, Canada publicized the final amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, which creates new safety standards for rail transportation of crude oil and other flammable liquids. The amendments require a new class of tank car, TC/DOT 117, for the transportation of dangerous flammable liquids. The regulations also include retrofit and phase out requirements for older tank cars. Further, the amendments expanded reporting requirements for transportation of goods by air, roads, and sea, requiring any releases that could jeopardize public safety to be reported. These amendments are largely in line with the DOT’s fracking rule announced on May 1.

On June 22, 2015, Canada filed charges against a rail company and its employees in connection with the Lac-Mégantic derailment.19 On July 6, 2013, a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, exploding and killing 47 people, and releasing crude oil into nearby waters. The charges were filed under the Railway Safety Act based on Transport Canada’s findings that the train was equipped with an insufficient number of hand brakes, and that the hand brakes had not been tested properly.

STATE BANS AND RESTRICTIONS ON FRACKING OPERATIONS

K. New York

On May 13, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released an environmental impact statement (“EIS”) covering potential impact of fracking on critical resources such as drinking water, community character, and wildlife habitat. The statement is based on scientific studies, academic research, and public comments, and included an evaluation of possible mitigation measures. No challenges to the findings in the EIS have been filed, though such challenges are expected.

On June 29, New York State officially banned fracking through a “findings statement” under the State Environmental Quality Review Act following the environmental impact statement released on May 13. The Department of Environmental Conservation’s statement explained that the adverse impacts of fracking on land, air, water, natural resources, and public health cannot be adequately mitigated, and prohibiting fracking is the only reasonable alternative. The findings statement closes a six-year regulatory process, which started when the state’s first environmental impact statement on fracking was issued. Before this formal ban, New York has had a moratorium on fracking since 2010.20

L. Oklahoma

On May 29, 2015, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 809 into law, which vested the sole power of regulating fracking in the hands of the state. The bill prohibits municipalities, counties, or political subdivisions from making such regulations, on the grounds that the state commissioners have the expertise and popular mandate to regulate the oil and gas industry, and can avoid a patchwork of regulations because of local actions that may hurt the industry and the largest taxpayers in the state. Under the bill, localities may not issue moratoriums on drilling or wastewater disposal, although they could still pass laws and regulations regarding traffic issues, noise, fencing requirements, and the placing of drill rigs.

M. Texas

On May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law H.B. 40, a bill that grants exclusive jurisdiction to the state to regulate oil and gas operations, and expressly preempts local regulation of those operations unless the local rule regulates aboveground activities, including fire and emergency response, traffic, or noise, or imposes notice or reasonable setback requirements.

After the passage of H.B. 40, fracking operations in Denton, Texas, which were halted by an earlier fracking ban (Ordinance No. 2014-01), resumed on June 1, 2015. The ban, which prohibited fracking within city limits, was passed by referendum in November 2014. (See OMM January 13, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations). The city council officially amended Ordinance No. 2014-01 on June 17 to comply with H.B. 40.

N. California

On July 16, 2015, a California state court rejected a lawsuit filed by environmental groups21 challenging California’s Aquifer Exemption Compliance Schedule Regulations (“Emergency Rules”) that allow oil extraction waste to be injected into the ground until 2017. The Emergency Rules were established after the Governor declared a statewide emergency due to water scarcity in California. The complaint argued that the rules intensify the contamination of California’s underground water by allowing illegal injection into underground sources of drinking water, and sought to invalidate the Emergency Rules and halt injections of wastewater into the ground. The judge rejected the plaintiffs’ argument, finding that the state agency would have to proceed against up to more than 6,100 wells through individual enforcement actions if the Emergency Rules were vacated, which would impose substantial costs with less certain relief than provided by the Emergency Rules.

On June 10, 2015, the Center for Environmental Health, an Oakland, California-based environmental group, issued a Notice of Violation to Seneca Resources Corp. for Seneca’s discharge of wastewater from its fracking activities. The Center for Environmental Health alleges that the wastewater contains chemicals that exceed Proposition 65 safety standards, including naphthalene, benzene, and ethylbenzene. If Seneca Resources Corp. does not cease the alleged illegal activity, the Center for Environmental Health stated that it intends to file a Proposition 65 suit, the first of this kind in California.

On July 1, the rules regulating oil and gas well stimulation treatment in California as required by Senate Bill 4 went into effect and the environmental impact report (“EIR”) providing details regarding potential environmental impacts of well stimulation was certified. (See OMM January 13, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations). The new rules require a permit to be obtained for fracking and other high pressure treatments. The Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources will oversee the permit issuance process, but the State Water Resources Control Board will also review applications. In addition, permit applications are required to include (i) an engineering review and well integrity evaluation, (ii) a disclosure of fluids used, (iii) water monitoring and management plans, and (iv) notice to neighboring property owners of the well stimulation operations.

On July 7, 2015, the California State Water Resources Control Board adopted the Model Criteria For Groundwater Monitoring In Areas Of Oil And Gas Well Stimulation. The criteria provide methods and standards for monitoring and reporting water use for areas of oil and gas well stimulation. The criteria were made pursuant to Senate Bill 4, signed into law in 2013, which requires groundwater monitoring for all oil and gas wells that receive stimulation treatments. This is the first rule to provide public access to information about groundwater conditions near well stimulation operations.

On July 9, the California Council on Science and Technology and Berkeley Lab released a peer-reviewed study on fracking. The study assesses the impact of fracking on the environment and human health in California and identifies solutions to the possible impacts. Finding that major direct impacts are due to the use of hazardous chemicals, the study recommends disclosure and control of the use of chemicals. The study was prepared for the California Natural Resources Agency pursuant to Senate Bill 4.

O. Illinois

On July 10, 2015, an Illinois appellate court refused to enjoin the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (“IDNR”) from proceeding to permit fracking operations under the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. The plaintiffs were landowners and a non-profit who asserted that the IDNR failed to follow the rulemaking procedures and to consider relevant factors. Declining to grant a preliminary injunction, the court held that the plaintiffs have not shown that they would suffer an imminent, cognizable harm because of the implementation of the rules while the suit is being litigated.

P. Maryland

A bill that puts a two-year moratorium on fracking (see OMM April 28, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations) became law after the Governor chose not to veto it.22 This is the second state moratorium on fracking in recent months following the above-noted New York ban.

Q. New Mexico

A Navajo tribal group and environmentalists filed a motion for preliminary injunction, seeking to prevent the DOI from approving more Mancos Shale drilling permits.23 The plaintiffs stated that drilling in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico would cause irreparable harm because of its unique environmental and cultural setting. The motion asserts that the area, which is home to Native American tribes, is suffering the impacts of a wave triggered by shale oil drilling made possible by recent fracking technology. The BLM approved hundreds of drilling permits for the Mancos Shale before this suit was filed.

R. Ohio

On July 1, 2015, an Ohio Court of Common Pleas dismissed a class action against the State of Ohio, Governor John Kasich, and two fracking companies seeking to halt fracking operations in the City of Broadview Heights. Citing a February opinion of the Ohio Supreme Court, the court held that state fracking law preempts Broadview Heights’s restrictions on oil and gas well contained in its Community Bill of Rights Charter Amendment. The activist plaintiffs stated that they will appeal this dismissal.

S. Virginia

On May 11, 2015, the Attorney General of Virginia issued an official advisory Opinion, stating that local governments in Virginia may use zoning authority to prohibit fracking. The Opinion reasoned that “the General Assembly has delegated to localities the authority to control land use within their jurisdictions through zoning” and “the extent of local zoning powers is broad.” An explicit grant of power to regulate fracking through zoning is not necessary. In any event, fracking falls within the express scope of the statute as a subcategory of “[t]he excavation or mining of soil or other natural resources.” The Opinion comes to a different conclusion from another Opinion issued by the predeceasing Attorney General. Courts have the authority to determine local governments’ power to regulate fracking through zoning.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

T. Seismic Risk

On May 4, 2015, authors of a Southern Methodist University-led study24 on seismic activity (see OMM April 28, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations) testified in front of the state House Energy Resources Committee that fracking related activities contributed to the increased number of earthquakes in Texas.25 The authors concluded that increased injection wells for fluids and fracking water from gas production added stress to underground fault lines, inducing more quakes. The authors further stated that most injection operations do not cause earthquakes.

Similar conclusions were reached in a report by U.S. Geological Survey released on June 11, 2015. The report concluded that the increased seismic activity in the central U.S. is induced by the deep injection of fracking fluids from oil and gas operations. However, most injection operations are not shown to be induce earthquakes because certain conditions must be fulfilled; for example, faults must be sufficiently large, stresses must be sufficiently large, and the presence of fluid pathways must be sufficiently large to induce earthquakes.

A Stanford study published in the journal Science Advances on June 18, 2015, concluded that the fluid injection responsible for most of the recent quakes in Oklahoma is due to production and subsequent injection of massive amounts of wastewater, and is unrelated to fracking. Further, the primary source of the quake-triggering wastewater is the brackish water—“produced water”—that naturally coexists with oil and gas within the Earth, rather than “flowback water” generated following fracking operations.

U. Water Use

The U.S. Geological Survey released a study in June 2015 on fracking water use and its potential environmental implications. The study mapped out water volumes used to hydraulically fracture wells from 2011 to 2014. The study found that water use depends on the target reservoir, hydrocarbon type, and well configuration, which is of concern according to environmentalists because the study indicates that the highest water use occurs in water-deprived areas of the country.

On July 16, 2015, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General published a report suggesting that enhanced EPA oversight can further protect water resources from impacts of fracking. The report proposed enhanced oversight of permit issuance for fracking that adopts diesel fuels because evidence shows that companies have used diesel fuels during fracking without EPA or state permits. The report also suggested a need to devise an action plan for public disclosure of chemicals used in fracking that follows up on EPA’s initiation of the process in May 2014 to evaluate whether to make federal requirements regarding chemical disclosure.

N. Gas Emissions

study in the journal Atmospheric Environment released on April 30, 2015, found that natural gas emissions produced by fracking operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia account for the increase of ethane gas detected in air monitoring stations in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., hundreds of miles downwind of the operations. The study ruled out other sources of ethane as a cause for the recent upswing of ethane detection.

W. Disclosure

On June 2, 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”) reached a settlement with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, ending a lawsuit over the agency’s alleged violation of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by failing to provide information with regard to fracking operations in the Gulf of Mexico. (See OMM January 13, 2015, Client Alert, Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations). The agencies agreed to turn in documents that the Center requested under FOIA, and the Center agreed to narrow the scope of disclosure to documents that date back to 2010. The documents under request would disclose the location of fracking wells in the Gulf of Mexico, and would include related environmental assessments.

X. Corporate Governance

On June 9, 2015, the American Medical Association (“AMA”) approved a policy resolution to show support for full disclosure of chemicals placed into the natural environment during gas and oil production.26 The resolution also presented the AMA’s stance of supporting government agencies’ efforts to monitor chemicals placed into the environment and share this information with physicians and the public. This resolution marked a shift from the AMA’s previous policy of merely enquiring the fracking related potential of human and environmental health risks.

Y. United Kingdom

On July 16, 2015, the United Kingdom published a draft of the Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations, which define protected areas where fracking will be prohibited, including national parks, areas of outstanding national beauty, and World Heritage sites. The draft regulations restrict fracking activities below 1200 meters in connection with any protected areas. Commentators have noted that while the new regulations ban drilling from the surface of the protected areas, fracking operators can access oil and gas by drilling from outside such areas.


[1] Alan Kovski, EPA Study Cites Hydraulic Fracturing Risks But Sees No ‘Widespread, Systemic Impacts’, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (June 4, 2015).
[2] Indep. Petroleum Ass’n of Am. v. Jewell, D. Wyo., No. 2:15-cv-00041 (filed Mar. 20, 2015).
[3] Wyo. v. Dep’t of Interior, D. Wyo, No. 2:15-CV-00043 (filed May 29, 2015).
[4] Indep. Petroleum Ass’n of Am. v. Jewell, D. Wyo., No. 2:15-cv-00041 (filed Jun. 1, 2015).
[5] Wyo. v. Dep’t of Interior, D. Wyo, No. 2:15-CV-00043 (filed May 29, 2015).
[6] Osage Producers' Association v. Jewell et al., No. 4:15-cv-00367 (N.D. Okla. Aug. 10, 2015), available here; Osage Mineral Council v. U.S. Department of the Interior et al., No. 4:15-cv-00371 (N.D. Okla. Aug. 10, 2015), available here.
[7] Id.
[8] Dani Kass, EPA Extends Time For Comment On Fracking Wastewater Rule, LAW 360 (June 1, 2015).
[9] By January 1, 2017, owners of non-jacketed High-Hazard Flammable DOT-111 cars must report the number of tank cars that they own or lease that have been retrofitted, and the number that have not yet been retrofitted.
[10] Jessica Corso, Sens. Call For Oil Transport Transparency Amid ND Derailment, LAW 360 (May 7, 2015).
[11] Richard Clough and Eliot Caroom, BNSF Railway Oil-Train Crash Sparks Fire, Evacuation of Residents in North Dakota, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (May 6, 2015).
[12] American Petroleum Institute v. United States, No. 15-01131 (May 11, 2015).
[13] Village of Barrington, Illinois, et al., v. U.S., No. 15-2040 (May 13, 2015).
[14] Rachel Leven, Other Crude-by-Oil Issues Take Spotlight as Tank Car Rule Moves to Litigation Phase, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (May 17, 2015).
[15] Rachel Leven, Inspector General to Audit Progress By PHMSA on ‘Significant Safety Issues’, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (May 5, 2015).
[16] Jessica Corso, Sens. Call for Oil Transport Transparency Amid ND Derailment, LAW 360 (May 7, 2015).
[17] Schumer Formally Introduces Crude-by-Rail Bill, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (May 27, 2015).
[18] Leslie A. Pappas, Pennsylvania Governor Seeks Voluntary Steps By Railroads to Boost Oil Shipment Safety, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (May 19, 2015).
[19] Peter Menyasz, Canada Files New Charges in July 2013 Lac-Mégantic Train Derailment, Explosion, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (June 22, 2015).
[20] Gerald B. Silverman, New York State Officially Bans Fracking Following Years of Litigation, Research, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (June 29, 2015).
[21] Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. California Dep’t of Conservation, No. RG 15769302 (May 7, 2015).
[22] Jacob Batchelor, Maryland Gov. Lets 2-Year Fracking Ban Pass Into Law, LAW 360 (Jun. 2, 2015).
[23] Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Tribal Group Urges Halt To New Mexico Fracking, LAW 360 (May 12, 2015).
[24] Paul O’Donnell, State orders two energy firms to prove wells aren’t causing North Texas earthquakes, DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL (Apr. 25, 2015).
[25] Paul DeBenedetto, Texas Quakes Likely Due To Disposal Wells, Lawmakers Hear, LAW 360 (May 4, 2015).
[26] Michael Bologna, Doctors Call on Oil, Gas Companies to Disclose Chemicals Injected Into Wells, BLOOMBERG BNA: DAILY ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT (June 10, 2015).


This memorandum is a summary for general information and discussion only and may be considered an advertisement for certain purposes. It is not a full analysis of the matters presented, may not be relied upon as legal advice, and does not purport to represent the views of our clients or the Firm. Eric Rothenberg, an O'Melveny partner licensed to practice law in Missouri and New York, Jesse Glickstein, an O'Melveny associate licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New York, and Ashley Sun, a law clerk supervised by principals of the firm, contributed to the content of this newsletter. The views expressed in this newsletter are the views of the authors except as otherwise noted.

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