Topic: Legislative update

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Quarterly Legislative Activity Update: Marcellus and Utica Shale Regions

Our Norton Rose Fulbright Pittsburgh-Southpointe practice tracks legislative activity that we believe may impact oil and gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio). This Quarterly Update contains all of the relevant legislative activity occurring in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Read the complete Quarterly Update.… Continue Reading

Legislative Activity Update – Five Pennsylvania Bills

The following bill, which has been introduced previously, has been acted upon by the General Assembly since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA House Bill 1391 – Amendments to Oil and Gas Lease Act

Sponsor: Garth D. Everett (Republican – parts of Lycoming and Union counties [northern Pennsylvania])
Overview: Adds definitions for “lessee,” “lessor,” “operator,” “production unit,” “royalty,” “royalty payment,” “unconventional formation,” and “unconventional gas well.”

Requires that the minimum royalty payment to a lessor shall not be less than one-eighth of the price received by operator.

Prohibits deductions for “any” costs that would reduce royalty below one-eighth.

Applies to

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Quarterly Legislative Action Update: Marcellus and Utica Shale Region

Our Norton Rose Fulbright Pittsburgh-Southpointe practice tracks legislative activity that we believe may impact oil and gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio). This Quarterly Update contains all of the relevant legislative activity occurring in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during the second quarter of 2016.

The next issue of the Quarterly Update will be published in October 2016 and will contain all of the legislative activity occurring through the third quarter of 2016. New legislative activity occurring after publication of this Update will be posted to Norton Rose Fulbright’s Hydraulic Fracking Blog … Continue Reading

Legislative Activity Update – Three Pennsylvania Bills

The following bills, which have been introduced previously, have been acted upon by the General Assembly since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA Senate Bill 279 – Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Advisory Council Act

Sponsor: Scott E. Hutchinson (Republican – Clarion, Forest, Venango, and parts of Butler and Warren Counties [northwest Pennsylvania]; member of the Environmental Resources & Energy Committee)
Overview: Establishes the named Council and provides for its tasks:
  • Study and recommend technical regulations and policies that impact the conventional oil and gas industry;
  • Explore the development of a regulatory scheme for oversight and enforcement of the conventional oil
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Legislative Activity Update – Three Pennsylvania Bills

The following bill, which had been introduced previously, has been acted upon by the General Assembly since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA House Bill 1704 – Amendments to Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law

Sponsor: Mark Mustio (Republican – part of Allegheny County [outside Pittsburgh])
Overview: Provides for use of current term “Engineer Intern” for predecessor title of “Engineer-in-Training.”

Allows for distance learning to complete continuing professional competency requirements so long as course relates to professional practice and units awarded are verifiable and measurable by actual hours of instruction.

Amendments: Printer’s Number 2972:

Minor typographical changes.

Current
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Quarterly Legislative Action Update: Marcellus and Utica Shale Region

Our Norton Rose Fulbright Pittsburgh-Southpointe practice tracks legislative activity that we believe may impact oil and gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio). This Quarterly Update contains all of the relevant legislative activity occurring in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during the fourth quarter of 2015 and first four-and-a-half months of 2016.

The next issue of the Quarterly Update will be published in July 2016 and will contain all of the legislative activity occurring through the remainder of the second quarter of 2016. New legislative activity occurring after publication of this Update will … Continue Reading

DOI proposes methane and waste reduction rule

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, proposed a rule developed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) that would limit the flaring, leaking and venting of natural gas on public and tribal lands.  The reported purpose of this proposed rule is to cut down on methane emissions and prevent waste of natural gas. 

A significant portion of public and tribal lands overlay the Bakken formation.  If enacted, this rule will impact the oil and gas industry in the region as operators plan for gas capture, detect leaks, and monitor and limit gas flaring.

The new measures would require … Continue Reading

Legislative Activity Update – Two Pennsylvania Bills

The following bill, which had been introduced previously, has been acted upon by the General Assembly since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA House Bill 1327 – Amendments to Fiscal Code

Sponsor: Michael Peifer (Republican – parts of Pike and Wayne Counties [northeast Pennsylvania])
Overview:

Original bill

(Printer’s Number 1788) was unrelated to oil and gas.

Amendments:

House Bill 1327 became the vehicle to implement provisions of General Fund budget, most of which are unrelated to oil and gas development or regulation.  Provisions relevant to oil and gas development in each of the bill’s subsequent amended versions are

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Legislative Activity Update – 7 Pennsylvania Bills and 1 Resolution

The following two bills, which had been introduced previously, have been acted upon by the General Assembly since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA House Bill 1325 – Amendments to Second Class Township Code Regarding Storm Water Facilities

Sponsor: Mark Mustio (Republican – part of Allegheny County [Pittsburgh])
Overview: Allows board of supervisors to enact and enforce ordinances to govern and regulate the planning, management, implementation, construction, and maintenance of storm water facilities.

Allows township to assess fees based in whole or in part on the characteristics of the subject property.

Amendments: Printer’s Number 2554:
Changes provision relating to
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Legislative Activity Update – Three Pennsylvania Bills

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 748 was signed into law as Act 55 on October 30, 2015, by Governor Tom Wolf.  In the House of Representatives, two new bills were introduced.

PA Senate Bill 748 – Certified Escort Vehicles for “Super Loads”

Sponsor: David G. Argall (Republican – Schuylkill County and part of Berks County [outside Reading])
Overview: Eliminates mandatory escort of “super load” by Pennsylvania State Police.

Directs Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) to establish criteria for certified escort vehicles and certification and licensing of drivers of same.Allows for permitting of movement of “super load” escorted by one certified escort vehicle,

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Legislative Activity Update – Two Pennsylvania Bills

The following two already-introduced bills have been acted upon by the General Assembly since our last Update:

PA House Bill 965 – Amendments to Regulatory Review Act

Sponsor: Robert W. Godshall (Republican – part of Montgomery County [outside Philadelphia])
Overview: Amends Regulatory Review Act (Act of Jun. 25, 1982, P.L. 633, No. 181) to require that Committee Chairs provide a copy of any proposed regulation, as well as stakeholder comments and any comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (“IRRC”), to committee members by paper or electronic copy within five (5) days of receipt.Authorizes Committee Chairs to hold
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Quarterly Legislative Action Update: Marcellus and Utica Shale Region

Our Norton Rose Fulbright Pittsburgh-Southpointe practice tracks legislative activity that we believe may impact oil and gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio). This Quarterly Update contains all of the relevant legislative activity occurring in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during the third quarter of 2015.

The next issue of the Quarterly Update will be published in early January 2016 and will contain all of the legislative activity occurring through the fourth quarter of 2015, highlighting changes occurring during that quarter. New legislative activity occurring after publication of this Update will be posted … Continue Reading

Implementation of federal hydraulic fracturing rule postponed

When the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its new rule on hydraulic fracturing, the release was met with mixed reactions. In March, Wyoming and Colorado filed suit in a Wyoming federal court to challenge the new hydraulic fracturing regulations issued by the BLM. North Dakota and Utah also joined Wyoming and Colorado in the lawsuit. Recently, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe also joined the lawsuit to challenge the fracking rules. Conversely, several environmental groups have joined the lawsuit to support the BLM. The petitioners filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, requesting that Judge Scott Skavdahl stay … Continue Reading

Legislative Activity Update: Four Pennsylvania Bills

The following two already-introduced bills have been acted upon by the General Assembly since our last Update:

PA Senate Bill 875 – Treated Mine Water Act

Sponsor: Camera Bartolotta (Greene County and parts of Beaver and Washington counties [southwestern Pennsylvania])
Overview: Provides immunity from liability to mine operators for use of treated mine water used in oil or gas well development.

Provides immunity from liability for treatment or abatement of mine drainage or mine pool water to persons who acquire treated mine water for use in oil or gas development.

Does not remove liability for unlawful spills or releases.Treated mine

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Quarterly Legislative Action Update: Marcellus and Utica Shale Region

Our Norton Rose Fulbright Pittsburgh-Southpointe practice tracks legislative activity that we believe may impact oil and gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio). This Quarterly Update contains all of the relevant legislative activity occurring in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during the second quarter of 2015.

The next issue of the Quarterly Update will be published in early October 2015 and will contain all of the legislative activity occurring through the third quarter of 2015, highlighting changes occurring during that quarter. New legislative activity occurring after publication of this Update will be posted … Continue Reading

Legislative Activity Update: Six Pennsylvania Bills, Including One New Severance Tax Bill

PA Senate Bill 307 – Provides for independent counsel for the Environmental Quality Board
Sponsor: John T. Yudichak (Democrat – Carbon County and part of Luzerne County [northeast Pennsylvania])
Overview: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to appoint independent counsel for the benefit of the Environmental Quality Board (“EQB”).Independent counsel shall assist EQB on all matters, “including, but not limited to, the review of rulemaking petitions submitted to the [EQB], the drafting and development of amendments to proposed and final rulemaking and advice relating to procedural matters.”

Provides that discussions between independent counsel and EQB are privileged.

Amendments: Printer’s Number
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Legislative Activity Update: Four Pennsylvania Bills, Including One New Severance Tax Bill

PA Senate Bill 307 – Provides for independent counsel for the Environmental Quality Board
Sponsor: John T. Yudichak (Democrat – Carbon County and part of Luzerne County [northeast Pennsylvania])
Overview: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to appoint independent counsel for the benefit of the Environmental Quality Board (“EQB”).
Independent counsel shall assist EQB on all matters, “including, but not limited to, the review of rulemaking petitions submitted to the [EQB], the drafting and development of amendments to proposed and final rulemaking and advice relating to procedural matters.”
Provides that discussions between independent counsel and EQB are privileged.
Current Status:
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Legislative Update: Ohio Bill Regarding Emergency Response Plans

OH Senate Bill 166 – Horizontal wells-emergency response plans
Sponsor: Lou Gentile (Democrat – 30th Senate District)
Overview: Requires owners of horizontal wells to develop and implement emergency response plans in order to respond to emergencies at the surface location of their wells that threaten public health or safety.

The plan must establish response actions to be taken during the following: (i) construction of the well pad; (ii) drilling; (iii) well stimulation; (iv) production; (v) plugging; and (vi) restoration of the surface location.

The plan must describe the actions to be taken by the owner’s employees at the well to

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Legislative Activity Update – Ten Pennsylvania Bills, including new severance tax bill

The following already-introduced bill has been acted upon by the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

PA House Bill 621      Format of documents recording lease assignments
Sponsor: Sandra Major (Republican – parts of Susquehanna and Wayne Counties [northeast Pennsylvania])
Overview: Requires that documents presented for recordation that contain or reference multiple leases include an addendum containing (1) the names of the lessor(s), (2) the prior recording information for the leasehold interest, and (3) the property with which each lease is associated.

Allows recorder of deeds to refuse, and his/her sole discretion, to record documents incorporating by reference or exhibit more than fifty (50)

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Legislative Activity Update – Two Pennsylvania Bills, including new severance tax bill

The following already-introduced bill was acted upon by the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

PA House Bill 621     Requirements for recording oil and gas documents
Sponsor: Sandra Major (Republican – parts of Susquehanna and Wayne Counties [northeast Pennsylvania])
Overview: Requires that documents presented for recordation that contain or reference multiple leases include an addendum containing (1) the names of the lessor(s), (2) the prior recording information for the leasehold interest, and (3) the property with which each lease is associated.

Allows recorder of deeds to refuse, and his/her sole discretion, to record documents incorporating by reference or exhibit more than fifty (50)

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Legislative Activity Update – Two Pennsylvania bills

The following bill and resolution were introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

PA House Bill 1097    Water Well Insurance Fund
Sponsor: Peter J. Daley (Democrat – parts of Fayette and Washington Counties [south of Pittsburgh])
Overview: Establishes the Water Well Insurance Board (“Board”) and Water Well Insurance Fund.

Water well owners may apply to “become a subscriber to the fund for the purpose of insuring the water well against damages from intrusion or contamination.”

Premium rates are set by the Board.

The term “contamination” is not defined in the bill.

Maximum payout under an insurance policy is capped at “replacement

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Legislative Activity Update – Three Pennsylvania Bills

The following bills were introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

PA Senate Bill 415 – Natural Gas Severance Tax
Sponsor: Arthur L. Haywood III (Democrat – Philadelphia and part of Montgomery County)
Overview: Extensive severance tax bill, with rate of “8% of the gross value of units severed at the wellhead during a reporting period.”Repeals sunset provision of Oil & Gas Act that would have terminated the impact fee upon passage of a severance tax, allowing imposition of both an impact fee and severance tax.
Current Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on April 6, 2015.
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Quarterly Legislative Action Update: Marcellus and Utica Shale Region

Our Norton Rose Fulbright Pittsburgh-Southpointe practice tracks legislative activity that we believe may impact oil and gas development within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio).  This Quarterly Update contains all of the relevant legislative activity occurring in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during the first quarter of 2015.

The next issue of the Quarterly Update will be published in early July 2015 and will contain all of the legislative activity occurring through the second quarter of 2015, highlighting changes occurring during that quarter.  New legislative activity occurring after publication of this Update will be posted … Continue Reading

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