Category Archives: Fracking

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Fracking Debate Moves into Insurance Realm

iStock_000010890627_LargeThe gloves are off in a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York where an insurer and an oil and gas company disagree about whether the company’s insurance policy covers claims that fracking causes earthquakes. On June 27, 2016, insurer Lloyd’s sued New Dominion, arguing that the Lloyd’s pollution liability policies do not provide … Continue Reading

Fracking-Related Personal Injury Tort Claim Allowed to Proceed in Oklahoma Court

SONY DSCIn its June 30, 2015 opinion, Landra v. New Dominion, LLC, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held that a personal injury tort action alleging that fracking-related activity caused an earthquake that then caused the plaintiff’s injuries can proceed in an Oklahoma district court. The Oklahoma Supreme Court made no factual or legal findings with respect to … Continue Reading

Draft EPA Study Finds Fracking Has Not Led to Widespread Drinking Water Contamination

Niagara Falls New York in Black and WhiteThe EPA released a draft of its study, U.S. EPA Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft), EPA, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-15/047, 2015, assessing the impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water in early June (the draft Assessment). According to the EPA’s press … Continue Reading

Texas Bans Fracking Bans

186317355Texas now outlaws local municipalities from passing bans on hydraulic fracturing.  The bill proposing the law sailed through the Texas Legislature by large majorities and was signed by Governor Gregg Abbott on Monday, May 18, 2015.   The law prohibits cities and towns from imposing local ordinances preventing “fracking” activities. The bill, known as House Bill 40 (HB40), … Continue Reading

Federal Fracking Rule Announced

iStock_000058158546_MediumThe United States Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Land Management issued a long-awaited final rule for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. The rule was announced on Friday, March 20, 2015. According to the DOI’s press release these “commonsense standards will improve safety and help protect groundwater by updating requirements for well-bore integrity, wastewater … Continue Reading

Ohio Supreme Court Invalidates Local Fracking Restrictions

126810375On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, a sharply divided Ohio Supreme Court held in a 4-3 decision that Ohio local governments do not have authority to enact certain local zoning ordinances restricting hydraulic fracturing. The Court found that an Ohio statute regulating oil and gas well production operations that gives state government “sole and exclusive authority” … Continue Reading

Study Suggests Fracking Activity Induced Earthquakes

175129036A recently published study finds that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activity triggered numerous earthquakes in Ohio in March 2014.  According to the study, published online this month by The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), the fracking activities did not create a new fault, but rather activated a fault that was previously unknown.  The … Continue Reading

New York to Ban Fracking

459905183New York State’s Department of Health (DOH) Acting Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, has recommended that hydraulic fracturing be banned.  According to a press release issued today, the DOH has determined that significant questions and risks to public health from fracking are unanswered making it “reckless” to allow fracking in New York State. According to Dr. Zucker, “it would be reckless to … Continue Reading

New York Court Upholds Local Zoning Ordinances Banning Fracking

509705315New York’s highest court has determined that towns could use local zoning ordinances to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  The decision, issued June 30, 2014, is an important development in the debate about how fracking activities can be effectively “regulated” at the local level.   The New York Court of Appeals determined that the ordinances banning fracking … Continue Reading

Fracking Study Finds No Detectable Gas or Fluid Migration

178529316Conducted as part of the National Energy Technology Laboratory research for the Department of Energy, a new study has encouraging findings regarding the impact of hydraulic fracturing.  The study, conducted during hydraulic fracturing of wells in southwestern Pennsylvania, found no detectable migration of gas or aqueous fluids, and that the impact of hydraulic fracturing on … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing May Be Pathway to Future Mass Tort Liability

454352957A Yale-led study suggests that natural gas drilling activities could be associated with increased reports of dermal and upper respiratory symptoms in nearby communities.  The study, “Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania,” was published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers affiliated with Yale University, … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing And Drinking Water

459617609According to a new study, hydrocarbon gas contamination in drinking water close to hydraulic fracturing activity is likely caused by breaches of well integrity from casing or cementing issues, and not from upward migration of gas from deep formations.  A study by researchers from five different universities, and published in the Proceedings of the National … Continue Reading

Illinois DNR Submits Revised Administrative Fracking Rules

503376815The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has submitted revised rules that could significantly impact hydraulic fracturing operations, and liability resulting therefrom.  These revisions impact chemical disclosure requirements, trade secret protections, and presumptions of liability for pollution.  On August 29, 2014 the IDNR submitted its Second Notice of Revised Administrative Rules for High Volume Hydraulic … Continue Reading

ALERT: USEPA Extends Comment Period on Potential Fracking Regulations

492500965On May 9, 2014 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act seeking public comment on whether companies must disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  Read the related May 12, 2014 post by clicking here. The USEPA had … Continue Reading

USEPA Takes First Step Toward Possible Federal Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

178529316On May 9th the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) initiated a process that may result in federal regulation of the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  In the past 10 years, United States production of oil and gas has skyrocketed, due in part to the increased use of fracking technologies that use high‐pressure injection … Continue Reading
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