Pipeline Law

Pipeline Law

Tag Archives: EPA

Senate Confirms Susan Parker Bodine as New Head of EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Office

Posted in Environmental
As reported in The Nickel Report, on Thursday, the Senate confirmed Susan Parker Bodine as the Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (“OECA”). OECA, the chief enforcement arm of EPA, coordinates the agency’s enforcement of numerous federal environmental laws within its authority. Click here to read the full… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit: FERC to Decide Water Quality Certification Waiver for Natural Gas Pipeline Projects

Posted in Natural Gas
As reported in The Nickel Report, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last week dismissed an interstate natural gas pipeline company’s challenge to the State of New York’s delay in issuing a water quality certification under section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The case is one of several pending across the country that involve a state’s authority to issue, deny, or waive a CWA water quality certification for interstate natural gas pipeline projects.… Continue Reading

BLM Proposes Sweeping Rules to Curb Methane Emissions

Posted in Administrative Rulemaking, Environmental, Natural Gas, Policy
Consistent with President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan,” the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released proposed rules intended to significantly curb emissions from new and existing oil and gas production wells on federal and tribal lands. In total, BLM proposes to cut natural gas emissions (from both intentional and unintentional releases) associated with oil and gas… Continue Reading

How Will EPA’s New Definition of “Waters of the U.S.” Affect Oil & Gas Pipelines?

Posted in Administrative Rulemaking, Environmental, Federal/ State Legislation, Integrity Management, Policy
Amid considerable controversy, the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) issued a Final Rule on May 27, 2015, re-defining and expanding the definition of jurisdictional “waters of the U.S.” under the federal Clean Water Act. … Continue Reading

Pipeline Law 2015: The Year Of Living Uncertainly

Posted in Administrative Rulemaking, Enforcement, PHMSA, Pipeline Safety Act
The US oil and gas industry has been transformed over the past few years by development of new shale resources. The US is now the world’s largest producer of natural gas and on track to be the world’s largest producer of oil. These changes have affected America’s energy future, as well as global markets.… Continue Reading

Whitehouse and States Target Oil and Gas Methane Emissions

Posted in Administrative Rulemaking, Environmental, Policy
The President and several states recently proposed measures to reduce methane emissions associated with oil and gas facilities, particularly from drilling activities.  After CO2, methane is thought to be the most common greenhouse gas (estimated at 8.7% of emissions for 2012 as compared to 82.5% for CO2).  Methane degrades more quickly than CO2, but it has a… Continue Reading

EPA Issues New Oil Tank Emission Standards and Deadlines

Posted in Administrative Rulemaking, Environmental, Reporting Obligations
EPA has established new deadlines and caps on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from storage tanks used in oil and natural gas production and transmission that have the potential to emit more than 6 tons of VOCs per year. The pre-publication version of the new rule, to be codified as amendments to 40 C.F.R. Part… Continue Reading

EPA IG Report Suggests EPA Data Underestimates Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations

Posted in Environmental, Policy
The EPA Inspector General issued an audit report on February 21, 2013, analyzing oil and gas production emissions data contained in the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. The IG drew several conclusions from its review, including that the data is limited and incomplete for several key air pollutants, and that there are data gaps for some… Continue Reading

INGAA Releases Study Finding Increased Delays in Non-FERC Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting

Posted in Construction & Design, Federal/ State Legislation, PHMSA, Policy
Despite the goal of the 2005 Energy Policy Act’s (EPAct) to streamline and expedite permitting for natural gas pipeline construction projects, a recent study funded by INGAA found that non-FERC agencies have experienced increased delays in permitting projects. The percentage of federal authorizations issued more than 90 days beyond FERC’s issuance of its final NEPA… Continue Reading

Sierra Club Sues to Block Keystone Gulf Coast Project

Posted in Construction & Design, Judicial/ Administrative Decisions
In a lawsuit that could have a broader impact than just halting the pipeline, the Sierra Club has brought a lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers’ issuance of a NWP 12 permit to the Keystone Gulf Coast Project. The NWP 12 permit authorizes construction, maintenance and repair of linear utility lines in waters… Continue Reading

Pipeline Infrastructure Projects Given Priority by Administration

Posted in Construction & Design, Environmental, Policy
In the latest of a series of Presidential statements on infrastructure permitting, on March 22, 2012 President Obama issued an Executive Order directing pertinent agencies to “coordinate and expedite their reviews . . . to expedite decisions related to domestic pipeline infrastructure projects, ” and in a Presidential Memorandum issued that same day, specifically identified… Continue Reading

EPA and Coast Guard Suspend Spill Response Times for Some Operators

Posted in Administrative Rulemaking, Environmental
EPA and the Coast Guard issue an emergency interim rule suspending oil spill response times and response contractor obligations, but only for those operators who have actually sent resources to support the Gulf spill. Notably, the emergency rule omitted OPS in its coverage, making the suspension of less utility to pipeline operators. See 75 Fed.… Continue Reading