Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Stoel Rives LLP

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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 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 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 EPA Mitigation Natural Resources Public Land Real Estate Development US Fish and Wildlife Service

Sierra Club Issues Notice of Intent to Sue over Frackquakes in Oklahoma

On Monday, November 2, the Sierra Club issued a Notice of Intent to Sue (“Notice”) four oil companies, alleging ongoing violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). Specifically, the Notice states that...more

11/6/2015 - Earthquakes Fracking Imminent Harm Notice of Intent Oil & Gas Sierra Club Underground Injection Wells Unmanned Aircraft Systems US Geological Survey

Bunn’s “Renewal Plan” will Overhaul Oil & Gas Regulation in California Starting Next Year

On October 8, the California Department of Conservation (“DOC”) released a Renewal Plan for Oil and Gas Regulation (“Renewal Plan”) to revamp its regulatory program.  The goal of the Renewal Plan is to continue the DOC’s...more

10/29/2015 - Department of Conservation DOGGR Oil & Gas Public Health Regulatory Reform Rulemaking Process

Activists Make Good on Promise to Sue DOT over Pipeline Regs.

On October 8, the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) fulfilled its promise to sue the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”). The lawsuit alleges that for 20 years the DOT has allowed pipelines to operate illegally by...more

10/20/2015 - Clean Water Act Department of Transportation (DOT) Energy Projects Environmental Policies Executive Orders National Wildlife Foundation Navigable Waters Offshore Drilling Oil & Gas PHMSA Pipelines

Environmental Activists Attack State Water Resources Control Board Order Approving Oil Industry Wastewater Disposal Methods

On August 28, Earthjustice filed a petition with the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) seeking to overturn a Central Valley Regional Water Board (“Regional Board”) order allowing an oil and gas wastewater...more

9/21/2015 - EarthJustice Oil & Gas Wastewater Water Resources Control Board

Miners and States take Notice, the EPA is Updating its CERCLA Financial Responsibility Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has recently announced that it would take steps to finalize rules establishing financial responsibility requirements for hard rock mines under section 108(b) of the...more

9/21/2015 - CERCLA EPA Hazardous Substances Mining Rulemaking Process

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

September 11, 2015, was the deadline for lawmakers to pass legislation and send to the Governor for signature or veto. Below is a summary of several bills related to oil and gas activities, which Stoel Rives has been...more

9/15/2015 - Carbon Emissions Energy Sector Global Warming Groundwater Legislative Agendas Oil & Gas Pending Legislation Sustainable Ground Water Management Act Water Resources Control Board

Molybdenum: An Essential Element in America’s Future

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic detailing the importance of the super element molybdenum. Few elements have a higher melting point than...more

9/2/2015 - Metals Mining Operational Permits

Pipeline Operators Take Heed – Threatened Enviro Lawsuit May Lead to Greater Regulatory Requirements

On July 28, 2015, the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) filed an intent to sue notice against the Department of Transportation (“DOT”), arguing the DOT has not properly approved pipeline projects for more than 20 years. ...more

9/1/2015 - Clean Water Act Department of Transportation (DOT) Energy Projects Executive Orders National Wildlife Foundation Offshore Drilling Oil & Gas PHMSA Pipelines

Activists Threaten to Sue if EPA doesn’t Update RCRA Regs to Cover Oil & Gas Industry

On Wednesday, August 26, a coalition of environmental groups threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) if the regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) are not updated to...more

8/31/2015 - EPA Hazardous Waste Oil & Gas RCRA Solid Waste

U.S. EPA Proposes New Rules on Air Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector: Impacts to Owners and Operators

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a suite of proposed actions affecting the oil and gas industry. EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act rules address methane emissions from new and modified...more

8/31/2015 - Carbon Emissions Clean Air Act Comment Period Energy Sector EPA Methane New Source Performance Standards Oil & Gas Operational Permits Tribal Lands VOC

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