Energy & Environmental Law Blog

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Four years after the Supreme Court of Ohio struck down the City of Munroe Falls’ attempt to regulate oil and gas development through zoning, a lower appeals court held that the City and its law director could not sanctioned for attempting to enforce ordinances that required Beck Energy to obtain a zoning certificate and/or variance prior to drilling wells within the city.  See State of Ohio, ex rel. Thomas W. Kostoff v. Beck Energy Corp…
On April 10, 2019, President Trump issued two Executive Orders (EOs) to facilitate the construction of primarily energy-related infrastructure, including pipelines. EO 13867, Issuance of Permits with respect to Facilities and Land Transportation Crossings at International Borders, was issued to expedite permitting of facilities crossing the international border, such as oil and gas pipelines to and from Canada. EO 13868, Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth, aims to promote efficient permitting processes, reduce regulatory uncertainties,…
Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently held once again that fee oil and gas interests are subject to possible extinguishment under Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (MTA). See Stalder v. Bucher, 2019-Ohio-936. In Stalder, the mineral owners advanced two arguments against extinguishment. First, they claimed that the MTA no longer applies to mineral interests. In their view, Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (DMA) supersedes the MTA because it is the more specific statute as to…
On March 29, 2019, U.S. EPA finalized a New Owner Clean Air Act (CAA) Audit Program for new owners of upstream oil and natural gas exploration and production facilities – i.e. well sites, tank batteries, and vapor control systems (the “Program”). The Program encourages new owners voluntarily to conduct a self-audit of newly acquired facilities, and identify, correct and self-disclose CAA violations to U.S. EPA in accordance with the Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and
On March 15th, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued its opinion in Anadarko Petro. Corp. v. Pennsylvania, No. 60 C.D. 2018 (Pa. Commw. Ct. March 15, 2019), holding that the Pennsylvania Attorney General could file action for unfair lease negotiations under Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (the “Unfair Trade Law”), but could not currently use the Unfair Trade Law to assert antitrust violations as to such alleged activity.  The Attorney General alleged that…
On February 21, 2019, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a petition for review of air permits issued by Ohio EPA for two compressor stations to be constructed along the NEXUS pipeline in Ohio. The Court dismissed the petition for review for lack of jurisdiction, holding the environmental groups that filed the petition for review failed to establish standing. In reaching its decision, the Court highlighted that “petitioners bore the burden of establishing the…
Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals was recently asked to analyze whether a fee oil and gas reservation can be extinguished under Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”). In Miller v. Mellott,  2019-Ohio-504,  two different groups claimed ownership over the oil and gas. The surface owners claimed title under the MTA. The mineral owners claimed title through a reservation included in a 1947 deed. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the…
On February 14, 2019, U.S. EPA issued a comprehensive Action Plan for addressing Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in environmental media. The Action Plan, which was developed in response to significant public input received by EPA over the past year, describes EPA’s short- and long-term multi-media and multi-program approach for addressing PFAS. Notable activities that EPA will implement under the Action Plan include: establishing a maximum contaminant level for PFOA and PFOS under the Safe…
On December 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio clarified the preservation of interests under the Ohio Marketable Title Act (OMTA). See Blackstone v. Moore, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-4959. In its decision, the Court held that under the OMTA, a deed reference to a previously reserved royalty interest is sufficiently-specific to preserve that royalty interest where the reference identifies the type of interest created and the person to whom the interest was granted. Check out the decision …