Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Stoel Rives LLP

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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

Environmental Challenge Blasts Kern County Oil and Gas Rules

On Thursday, December 10, environmental organizations filed a complaint against Kern County in California Superior Court alleging that the County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) by preparing a...more

12/15/2015 - CEQA Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Notification Requirements Oil & Gas Sierra Club

California’s Top Oil Regulator Resigns, Ken Harris to Take his Place

On Monday, November 30, California Department of Conservation Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) Supervisor Steven Bohlen submitted his resignation to Governor Jerry Brown, less than 18 months after...more

12/1/2015 - Administrative Resignation DOGGR Oil & Gas

Uranium – A little element with a lot of power

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic summarizing the many benefits of uranium....more

12/1/2015 - Minerals Mining

Kern County Acts to Streamline Oil & Gas Permitting

In a process that took nearly three years to complete, on Monday, November 9, the Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a significant change to its oil and gas regulations....more

11/16/2015 - Amended Regulation CEQA Conditional Use Permit DOGGR Oil & Gas Zoning Laws

Environmental Justice Lawsuit Accuses L.A. of Discriminatory Oil Permitting

On Friday, November 6, three environmental organizations filed suit against the City of Los Angeles in California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. The three groups, Youth for Environmental Justice, the Center for...more

11/11/2015 - CEQA City of Los Angeles Corporate Counsel Environmental Justice Oil & Gas Petition for Writ of Mandate Well Drilling Young Lawyers

Presidential Memo Imparts “Moral Obligation” on Agencies to Mitigate Impacts of Natural Resource Development

On Tuesday, November 3, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum: “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” (“Memorandum”). The Memorandum was sent to the...more

11/6/2015 - Barack Obama Clean Water Act Conservation Department of the Interior Economic Development Endangered Species Act (ESA) EPA Mitigation Natural Resources Public Land Real Estate Development US Fish and Wildlife Service

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