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Wyoming federal judge issues preliminary injunction against BLM’s hydraulic fracturing regulations

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and several states, including Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Utah, and the Ute Indian Tribe rejoiced when Wyoming federal judge Scott W. Skavdahl issued a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new hydraulic fracturing regulations.

“We are pleased to see Judge Skavdahl agrees with our request to first hear the merits of our case before this final federal rule goes into effect,” IPAA Pres. Barry Russell stated following the September 30 order.

The complaint was filed by IPAA and Western Energy Alliance on March 20 to challenge BLM’s final ruling … Continue Reading

Environmental groups protest drilling in Utah and Nevada

On May 7, 2014, WildEarth Guardians filed a complaint in the US District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, against the US Forest Service and the US Bureau of Land Management, seeking to enjoin these agencies from approving oil and gas drilling in the Ashley National Forest, located in the Uinta Basin.

In a Record of Decision (ROD) based on a Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS) and other documents, the Forest Service approved a 400-well project on February 12, 2012. This 400-well project on 162 well pads is being developed on 25,900 acres in the Ashley National Forest and will … 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

Utah’s Mining Board Approves Fracking Rule to Set Standards for Operation

On October 24, 2012, Utah’s Oil, Gas and Mining Board approved a hydraulic fracturing rule that requires chemical disclosure and sets standards for wellbore integrity and management of flowback water and surface protection.

Effective November 1, 2012, operators must report “the amount and type of chemicals used in a hydraulic fracturing operation . . . to within 60 days of hydraulic fracturing completion for public disclosure.” Utah Admin. Code R. 649-3-39.1.

While this rule contains no exemption for trade secrets, Utah’s trade secrets laws may protect some of the additives used during the hydraulic fracturing process from public disclosure.… Continue Reading