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Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Striking of 24-Year-Old Default Judgment, and Holds That Leasing Is Not Enough to Claim...

The development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has led to a number of disputes about historical judgments that purportedly divested reserved oil and gas rights from their owners. During the 20th century, surface...more

Are Recorded Oil and Gas Leases Title Transactions Under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act?

In a decision issued November 5, 2015 in the matter of Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Buell, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a recorded oil and gas lease is a title transaction under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA”),...more

Ohio Supreme Court Issues Second Key Decision Interpreting Dormant Mineral Act

On November 5, 2015, in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al. v. Kenneth Buell, et al., 2015-Ohio-4551, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its second decision interpreting Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (the “ODMA”). The ODMA is a...more

Renewable Energy Developers ? Beware of your Land Options

Four Arrows Investments 68 v Abigail Construction (20470/2014) [2015] ZASCA 121 - In a recent judgment the Supreme Court of Appeal held that any sale of a portion of agricultural land, whether conditional or not, shall...more

Administration Announces New Mitigation Policies

This afternoon, the Administration issued two policies intended to encourage private investment in natural resource conservation and to facilitate application of the mitigation hierarchy—avoiding, minimizing and compensating...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Massachusetts State Building Code Update: 9th Edition Anticipated to be Issued without Concurrency Period

The Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (the “State Board”) has announced that it expects to issue the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code in the first half of 2016, which will...more

The Louisiana Right of Passage Discussed

Spoiler alert: Don’t expect a post about a weekend of Mardi Gras debauchery. The owner of a landlocked tract can demand a right of passage over his neighbor’s property to the nearest public road. Does the law require the...more

A Busy Summer for Environmental and Land Use Law

In the past three months, we have witnessed a breathtaking series of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the California Supreme Court that have provided important rulings and...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Separate Consideration for Operated and Unoperated Acres Does Not Render an Oil and Gas Lease...

The recent boom in natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin has led to a concomitant boom in litigation, as landowners who are lessors in long-standing oil and gas leases seek declarations that the leases are no longer...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Denies Bid to Return Water/Sewer "Impact Fees"

Impact fees are defined, generally, as a charge on new development to pay for the construction or expansion of off-site capital improvements that are necessitated by and/or benefit the new development. Impact fees have been...more

EPA Issues Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Vapor Intrusion (“VI”) is the migration of vapors from contamination in the ground into overlying buildings and structures. It’s no secret that regulatory agencies have increased their focus on VI over the last decade. ...more

Spot Assessment Stricken

A divided panel of The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a reassessment of property upon the expiration of a KOZ abatement was an unlawful spot assessment. Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of...more

Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that...more

Don’t Overlook the Potential Value Added By Green Buildings

It is increasingly important for buildings to be energy efficient. So-called “green buildings” can not only lead to more efficient energy use, but can also result in significant cost savings over time. Indeed, green...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The New York Legislature Ends The Guessing - Brownfield Tax Credits Extended And Modified

On April 1, 2015, the New York Legislature passed a budget bill for fiscal year 2015-2016, which included numerous amendments (the Amendments) to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), a state program designed to incentivize...more

Groundwater Fees in Flux Following Recent Conflicting Proposition 218 Cases

With California in the midst of a record-breaking drought (as reported in a recent Allen Matkins legal alert, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order ordering mandatory actions to reduce California's water...more

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the...more

N.C. State Senate Introduces Bill Granting Tax Credit for "Property" Serving Renewable Energy Efforts

Last week, the North Carolina State Senate introduced a bill that seeks to extend renewable-energy tax credits applicable to eligible property -- which is defined as specific "machinery and equipment or real property" -- that...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2015

Be Careful What You Agree To (City of San Marcos v. Loma San Marcos, LLC) - Why It matters: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision upholding an agreement between the City of San Marcos and a property owner...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Shades of Sheppard?

In Wagner & Brown, Ltd. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419 (Tex. 2008), the Texas Supreme Court held that the termination of Sheppard’s lease (Sheppard was the Lessor) did not terminate her participation in a unit into which her...more

Quebec Environment Minister Aims to Modernize Environmental Approval Process

On February 25, 2015, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change David Heurtel, announced a proposal to modernize the current environmental authorization regime provided...more

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Storage Activities Hold Production Rights Under "Dual Purpose" Lease

The explosion of natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin in recent years has led to litigation involving landowners trying to get out of existing oil and gas leases to take advantage of the fierce competition among...more

Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy...more

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