Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Stoel Rives LLP

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Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...more

8/23/2016 - Center for Biological Diversity CEQA DOGGR EarthJustice Emergency Management Plans Mandamus Petitions Oil & Gas Rulemaking Process Safe Drinking Water Act Underground Injection Wells Wastewater

When Will They Ever Learn? CBD Files Another Questionable Lawsuit Against DOGGR

On August 3, 2016, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed suit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) and the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”),...more

8/8/2016 - Center for Biological Diversity CEQA DOGGR Environmental Review Exemptions Groundwater Oil & Gas Safe Drinking Water Act Water Resources Control Board

Industry Groups Push Back Against Environmental Activists in Suit Over Oil & Gas Waste Disposal Regs.

As we discussed earlier, environmental activists have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to update its oil and gas drilling waste disposal rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). The...more

8/8/2016 - Drilling Waste Disposal EPA Oil & Gas RCRA Regulatory Agencies

Alameda Fracking Ban: All Bark with No Bite

On July 19, 2016, Alameda County, California (“County”) became the first county in the Bay Area to approve a ban on hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the ban through...more

8/3/2016 - DOGGR Fracking Bans Local Ordinance Oil & Gas Takings Clause Zoning Laws

Construction For The California High-Speed Rail Is Chugging Right Along

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”) issued a press release with the status of its construction work for the high-speed rail project (the “Project”) at seven active sites in the Central Valley. Many of the...more

7/29/2016 - Construction Project High-Speed Rail High-Speed Rail Authority Infrastructure Public Projects

Proposed Oil Refinery Regulations Tackle Safety Concerns

On July 14, 2016, the California Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a “landmark set of regulations to strengthen workplace and environmental safety at oil refineries across the state.” The refinery safety...more

7/20/2016 - Comment Period Jerry Brown Oil & Gas OSHA Proposed Regulation Refineries Workplace Hazards

Wyoming Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule; Existing Appeal Remains Pending (For Now)

As we’ve previously reported, a Wyoming federal court issued a preliminary injunction order last year that temporarily halted the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands. ...more

6/24/2016 - Bureau of Land Management Final Rules Fracking Oil & Gas Preliminary Injunctions Public Land Statutory Authority Tribal Lands

Updated Status of Oil-and Gas-Related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 3, 2016 was the final deadline for oil- and gas-related bills introduced in the 2015-2016 legislative session to move through their house of origin. Below is a summary of those bills, many of which relate to natural gas...more

6/10/2016 - Energy Sector Energy Storage Groundwater Hazardous Waste Legislative Agendas Natural Gas Oil & Gas Pipelines Public Utilities Commission Safe Drinking Water Act Underground Injection Wells

The Other Shoe Just Dropped on Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Not to be outdone by its federal counter-parts, the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) released Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities (“proposed rule”) for methane emissions on...more

6/9/2016 - Bureau of Land Management CARB Comment Period EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Oil & Gas Proposed Regulation

Southern California Environmental Update #1

This is the first update on environmental regulatory and legal developments in Los Angeles and adjacent counties, as well as the Southern San Joaquin l Valley. Let us know what you think. Your comments on this Update will...more

6/7/2016 - California Air Resources Board CARB Environmental Policies EPA Oil & Gas Regulatory Agenda SCAQMD Stormwater Discharge Permits Water Quality Control Boards

Part the Seas: Federal Report Finds Offshore Fracking has No Significant Impact

On May 27, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) jointly released a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (“PEA”) for well stimulation treatment...more

6/6/2016 - BOEM BSEE Fracking NEPA Offshore Drilling Outer Continental Shelf

Clean Up Green Up—Supplemental Use Districts—more regulation for three LA City Neighborhoods

On June 4, 2016, the City of Los Angeles rolls out its much-discussed Clean Up Green Up (CUGU) pilot program for three communities: Boyle Heights, Wilmington and Pacoima. Ordinance 184246, approved by Mayor Garcetti on April...more

5/31/2016 - Building Standards Green Initiatives Local Ordinance Popular Zoning Laws

New Regulations for California Groundwater Management

California has moved one step closer to implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”), California’s landmark groundwater legislation. On Wednesday, May 18, the California Water Commission adopted a set of...more

5/23/2016 - Department of Water Resources Groundwater Management Plan Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) New Regulations SGMA

EPA Issues Expansive, Costly New Source Performance Standards for Oil and Gas Sector

Widely anticipated on both sides of the aisle, on May 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released final regulations to curb emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (“VOC”) from additional...more

5/16/2016 - Climate Action Plan EPA Final Rules Methane New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Oil & Gas

Environmentalists Sue EPA to Force Update of Drilling Waste Regulations

On May 4, 2016, a coalition of environmental organizations (“Plaintiffs”) filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection (“EPA”) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel the EPA to promulgate...more

5/11/2016 - EPA Hazardous Waste Oil & Gas RCRA

Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Fracking Bans that Conflict with State Law

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued opinions in two separate cases challenging local bans on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). A win for the oil and gas industry in the state, the Supreme Court held that the...more

5/6/2016 - CO Supreme Court Fracking Bans Local Ordinance Oil & Gas Preemption

BLM Fights Back Against Activists’ Criticisms of CA Resource Management Plan

The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental activists who have challenged the BLM’s Resource Management Plan (“RMP”) for public lands...more

4/21/2016 - Bureau of Land Management Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Fracking Motion for Summary Judgment NEPA

Proposed Rules Coming Down the Pipeline for Gas Gathering and Transmission Lines

In one of the most sweeping proposals since the creation of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), the agency has announced proposed regulations to update requirements relating to gas gathering...more

3/29/2016 - Comment Period Energy Sector PHMSA Pipelines Proposed Regulation

Status of Oil- and Gas-Related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

February 19, 2016 was the deadline for lawmakers to introduce legislation to the 2015-2016 California Legislative Session, and the Legislature’s ever-growing appetite for regulating the energy industry in California shows no...more

3/8/2016 - Energy Sector Hazardous Substances Legislative Agendas Oil & Gas Public Utilities Commission

Minerals – Building Blocks for Energy Resources

Minerals are part of virtually all the products we use every day, acting as the raw materials for manufacturing processes or as the end products themselves. Not surprisingly, minerals also are used in the energy generation...more

2/29/2016 - DOE Energy Sector Minerals

No Issuance of Federal Offshore Fracking Permits Until May 2016

On January 29, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”), agencies within the federal Department of the Interior (“DOI”), agreed to put a temporary...more

2/5/2016 - BOEM BSEE Environmental Review Fracking NEPA Outer Continental Shelf Settlement Agreements

Financial Assurance Requirements are on the Horizon for Hard Rock Miners

On January 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to finalize the long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations under section 108(b) of...more

2/2/2016 - Appeals CERCLA Contaminated Properties EPA Mining

BLM Proposes “Commonsense” Rule to Limit Methane Emissions from Oil & Gas Operations

On Friday, January 22, 2016 the federal Department of the Interior’s (“DOI”) Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued a proposed rule on reducing waste and methane emissions in oil and gas operations. The rule would limit...more

1/26/2016 - Bureau of Land Management Methane Natural Gas Oil & Gas Proposed Regulation

Stricter Underground Gas Storage Regs are in the Works

On January 15, 2016, the Department of Conservation gave notice of an interim rulemaking package to regulate underground natural gas storage facilities. The proposed rulemaking comes in response to the continuing gas leak at...more

1/21/2016 - Department of Conservation Emergency Response Governor Brown Natural Gas Rulemaking Process Underground Storage Tanks

Two Frackquake Lawsuits Filed in Oklahoma

Two lawsuits were filed within days of each other in Oklahoma, claiming that energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing and underground disposal of produced water are causing earthquakes throughout the state. These...more

1/18/2016 - Class Action Earthquakes Fracking Oil & Gas Sierra Club

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