Texas Environmental Update - November 15, 2013

by Bracewell LLP
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The environmental practice of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP offers seamless, front-rank representation in local, state, national, and cross-border regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters, as well as experienced counsel on the environmental aspects of transactions and operations across the country and around the world. We are dedicated to helping clients successfully navigate complex and costly environmental issues and to building longstanding client relationships founded on superior advice, integrity, and value. We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated community in Texas.

BRACEWELL ALERTS & PUBLICATIONS

Draft Clean Water Jurisdiction Rule Leaked
Energy Legal Blog, November 13, 2013
Rule Could Have Significant Impact on Infrastructure, Energy and Land Development On September 18, we blogged about the pending release of a draft rule which would establish the scope of waters subject to the federal Clean Water Act - a rule which could have significant impacts on entities engaged in infrastructure or other land development [...]

Environmental Roadblocks
Oil & Gas Financial Journal, November 12, 2013
The unconventional gas revolution has precipitated numerous infrastructure projects to move and process previously unanticipated natural gas supplies. Those projects, in turn, have caused opponents to embrace new and innovative strategies designed to derail these projects. Many of these strategies are environmental, and they could be successful if pipeline companies, foundation shippers, and LNG project sponsors do not adapt their approach [...]

TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Agendas & Work Sessions

Commissioners' November 20, 2013 Meeting Agenda
TCEQ Web Site

Commissioners' November 6, 2013 Agenda Meeting Webcast
TexasAdmin.com

In the News:

Air

Local Ozone Readings Reach High Average
Denton Record-Chronicle, November 3, 2013
"The North Texas ozone season ended Thursday with readings at Denton Enterprise Airport reaching an average as high as those in Houston. "

Enforcement

TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $357,317
TCEQ Web Site, November 6, 2013
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $300,942 against 21 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations."

Regulatory Developments

What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, November 8, 2013

Waste

Group Wants Full Cleanup of Former Battery Recycler's Landfill
NBCDFW.com, November 5, 2013
"A Frisco group is urging the city to do a thorough job of cleaning up the site of a former battery recycling plant."

Water

With Prop 6 Approved, Plans Remain Uncertain
The Texas Tribune, November 13, 2013
"Now that Texas voters have agreed to spend $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to finance water supply projects, legislators say the state finally has some money to carry out its longstanding water plan."

BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Information Collection: Oil Spill Financial Responsibility for Offshore Facilities; Submitted for OMB Review; Comment Request
78 Federal Register 66763, November 6, 2013

COAST GUARD

Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements for Vessels on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf-Extension of Comment Period
78 Federal Register 67326, November 12, 2013

Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting; Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee
78 Federal Register 67379, November 12, 2013

Notice of Availability and Request for Comments, Carriage of Conditionally Permitted Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water in Bulk
78 Federal Register 64905, October 30, 2013

EPA

Obama to Focus on Climate Change
Newsmax.com, November 9, 2013
"In the face of a crumbling second-term agenda, President Barack Obama is seeking to cement his legacy through executive action on climate change through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Proposed Rule; Extension of Public Comment Period; Revisions to Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, and Proposed Confidentiality Determinations Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program
78 Federal Register 66674, November 6, 2013

Withdrawal of Direct Final Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Procedures for Stringency Determinations and Minor Permit Revisions for Federal Operating Permits
78 Federal Register 66648, November 6, 2013

Final Rule, Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule
78 Federal Register 66643, November 6, 2013

Citing Impact of Shutdown, EPA Postpones Issuing Final Rule on Cooling Water Intake
Bloomberg BNA, November 5, 2013
"The Environmental Protection Agency said it will delay issuing until Nov. 20 a final rule to require more than 1,000 power plants and industrial facilities to obtain Clean Water Act permits for their cooling water intake structures, citing the government shutdown in October as a force beyond its control."

Notice of Availability for Public Review and Comment: Draft EPA Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans
78 Federal Register 65980, November 4, 2013

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

Proposed Rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
78 Federal Register 67254, November 8, 2013

OTHER TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

More Oil and Gas Drillers Turn to Water Recycling
MyWestTexas.com, November 11, 2013
"MIDLAND - When the rain stopped falling in Texas, the prairie grass yellowed, the soil cracked and oil drillers were confronted with a crisis."

REPORTS

Memo From the SAB Work Group on EPA Planned Actions for SAB Consideration of the Underlying Science With Recommendations for Chartered SAB Consideration
EPA Science Advisory Board Web Site, November 12, 2013
"The Chartered SAB will discuss whether to review the adequacy of the science supporting planned regulatory actions announced in the Spring 2013 Regulatory Agenda at its December 4-5, 2013 meeting."

Investigation of November 16, 2012 , Explosion, Fire and Fatalities at West Delta Block 32 Platform E
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Web Site, November 4, 2013
"An investigation panel comprised of professionals from BSEE and the United States Coast Guard (the Panel) conducted an extensive investigation of the incident and identified a number of causes of the explosion and fire."

Gas Injection May Have Triggered Earthquakes in the Cogdell Oil Field, Texas
Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States Web Site, November 4, 2013
"The timing of gas injection suggests it may have contributed to triggering the recent seismic activity."

Water Resource Reporting and Water Footprint From Marcellus Shale Development in West Virginia and Pennsylvania
Earthworks Web Site, October 30, 2013
"This report focuses on the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia."

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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