Topic: Michigan

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EPA reviews states’ solid waste management regulations for oil and gas operations

In an April 1, 2014 memorandum, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summarized state regulatory programs concerning the management of solid waste from oil and natural gas exploration, development and production (E&P) operations.

In reviewing each state’s regulations, the EPA focused on surface storage and disposal facilities managing produced waters, drilling muds, drilling cuttings, hydraulic fracturing return fluids, and various other waste liquids and materials intrinsically related to oil and gas E&P.

The EPA found that the state regulations were primarily concerned with the “technical requirements associated with the design, construction, operation, maintenance, closure, and reclamation of surface pits, … Continue Reading

Michigan Court of Appeals holds that a well completed using hydraulic fracturing is not an injection well

Several Michigan citizens and the group Ban Michigan Fracking questioned the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) about its definition of “injection well” in Mich. Admin. Code , R. 324.102(x), urging that the definition should include wells completed with hydraulic fracturing (“frack wells”).

The DEQ responded by stating that “a frack well is not an injection well under Rule 324.102(x) because a frack well injects fluids for the ‘initial stimulation’ of oil and gas, whereas Rule 324.102(x) limits injection wells to wells that are used for disposal, storage, or secondary recovery of oil and gas.”

The citizens and Ban Michigan Fracking … Continue Reading

Michigan to tighten Its hydraulic fracturing rules

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) plans to strengthen its hydraulic fracturing rules by adding provisions to protect water resources and to require additional chemical data submissions. This announcement comes after roughly 200 public meetings held since 2011 and attended by the DEQ. 

Michigan’s current fracturing rules went into effect on June 22, 2011 and require the operator or the service company of a high volume hydraulic fractured (HVHF) well (using more than 100,000 gallons of fracking fluid) to provide:

  1. Material Safety Data Sheets for the chemical additives used, 
  2. the volume of each additive, and 
  3. the records and associated
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University of Michigan’s Technical Reports on Hydraulic Fracturing in the State

On September 5, 2013, the University of Michigan released seven technical reports concerning hydraulic fracturing. 

These Michigan-focused reports conclude the first phase of a two-year University project entitled Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment. Public comment on these reports may be submitted through October 7, 2013.

A brief description of each report follows.

  • Technology: In view of the currently low price of gas, the high price of drilling deep shales, and the absence of new discoveries, it is unlikely that there will be significant growth of the oil and gas industry in Michigan. Hydraulic fracturing has not found widespread application
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Summit Petroleum (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 2012): EPA’s Aggregation of Oil and Gas Emissions Based on “Mere Functional Relatedness” is Unreasonable

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit* in Summit Petroleum Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Nos. 09-4348; 10-4572) vacated EPA’s order aggregating Summit’s sour gas wells and sweetening plant into a single major source.

The Court agreed with American Petroleum Institute and American Exploration and Production Counsel that EPA’s determination that the physical requirement of “adjacency” in an aggregation determination can be established through mere functional relatedness is unreasonable and contrary to the plain meaning of the term “adjacent.”

The court remanded the case to EPA for a reassessment of Summit’s Title V … Continue Reading

Texas, Other States Move Forward With Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Regulations

Earlier this year, Texas became the latest state to draft regulations requiring the disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Michigan and Montana issued similar regulations over the summer, joining Arkansas, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania as states recently active in regulating hydraulic fracturing.[1] The new regulations require specific disclosures by operators and outline requirements for construction and operation of the well and continued monitoring of well activity. Three additional states, Louisiana, New York, and North Dakota, have proposed regulations open for public comment. This briefing examines recent changes and additions in hydraulic fracturing regulations throughout the country.

Texas: Public

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