Topic: North Carolina

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N.C. legislature preempts local fracking regulations with Senate Bill 119

North Carolina countered county fracking regulations with Senate Bill 119 on October 1st. Senate Bill 119 comes in at the tail of the Texas legislature’s H.B. 40, discussed earlier this week in this blog. Both designate state control versus local control over fracking regulations.

Local counties, such as Chatham and Stokes, have passed hydraulic fracking moratoriums since mid-August, and Lee county is currently considering passing its own. Stokes County’s moratorium lasts for three years and prevents the issuance of zoning permits connected to oil-and-gas development. Chatham County’s moratorium lasts for two years and halts all hydraulic fracking. These moratoriums … Continue Reading

Constitutional challenge filed against North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission

On Monday, the Haw River Assembly and Keely Wood Puricz filed suit in North Carolina state court, requesting the court to rule that North Carolina General Statute § 143B-293.2(a) is unconstitutional. North Carolina General Statute § 143B-293.2(a) specifies the appointment process for the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission (NCMEC) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The NCMEC is composed of five members appointed by the Governor and eight members appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA).

Plaintiffs contend that the appointment process for the NCMEC is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers doctrine. Specifically, … Continue Reading

North Carolina to allow hydraulic fracking

On June 04, 2014, Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a bill into law allowing hydraulic fracking within the state, lifting a moratorium that has blocked fracking permits since 2012. Fracking in North Carolina can begin as early as next year.

Gov. McCrory signed the Energy Modernization Act of 2014 at an event at North Carolina State University after the bill passed through the state House (64-50) and Senate (33-12) during the preceding week. The bill was introduced by three Republican state senators, Sens. Bob Rucho, E.S. Newton, and Andrew C. Brock. Republicans lead both the House and Senate … Continue Reading

North Carolina lawmakers consider proposed Energy Modernization Act

In July 2012, North Carolina’s state assembly overrode the governor’s veto to enact a bill lifting a ban on hydraulic fracturing and requiring state regulators to pass and implement rules relating to hydraulic fracturing activities, including the disclosure of chemicals to state agencies and local emergency responders, by October 1, 2014.

On May 15, 2014, several state senators introduced a bill (S.B. 786 or Energy Modernization Act) to extend the deadline to January 1, 2015, and to modify certain provisions relating to oil and gas activities.

The bill provides for the confidentiality of hydraulic fracturing chemicals, “upon a showing satisfactory … Continue Reading

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

North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission approves trade secret protection for chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing

On January 14, 2014, North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Commission passed a rule allowing oil and gas companies to protect trade secrets relating to the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.

At least 30 days before using the trade secret chemical or mixture, the company must advise the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”) and provide the DENR with the following information:

  • the manufacturer’s name, trade or common name of the chemical, CAS registry number, the chemical’s hazardous class and category (if applicable), and the common name or other similar description associated with each chemical contained in the additive or
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North Carolina returns EPA grant for hydraulic fracturing study

On September 3, 2013, the State of North Carolina, through its Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”), rejected a $222,595 federal grant for water quality monitoring in areas where hydraulic fracturing is likely to occur in the future. The grant would have been administered through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was likely to cover research in the Sanford Basin of Lee County, located south of Raleigh. The DENR also returned a $359,710 federal grant for wetlands monitoring in the region.

Tom Reeder, Director of the Division of Water Resources, noted that the state will conduct a study to … Continue Reading