Texas Environmental Update

by Bracewell LLP

Video Interview: The Polar Vortex and Energy - A Look at the Impact of Shale and Coal on Energy Prices
Energy Legal Blog, March 10, 2014
As the United States begins to enter a warming period leading up to the onset of Spring, Bracewell & Giuliani's Scott Segal, head of the firm's Policy Resolution Group, takes a look back on the Polar Vortex - the bouts of severe cold experienced by much of the country in early 2014. In this video [...]


Agendas & Work Sessions

Commissioners' March 26, 2014 Meeting Agenda
TCEQ Web Site

In the News:


As Dallas Area Tries to Clean Up Air, EPA Might End Tailpipe Tests for Older Cars
Dallas Morning News, March 8, 2014
"A smog check for an aging car involves a make-believe drive inside an inspection shop."

Regulatory Developments

What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, March 10, 2014


New Lake to Supply Dallas-Fort Worth Moves Forward, but Environmental Opposition Looms
Dallas Morning News, March 8, 2014
"AUSTIN - Texas' revamped Water Development Board has recommended that a potential new North Texas reservoir remain in the state water plan, and the tacit approval is an alarming signal to opponents of the project."

Water Planners to Set Bar for Conservation Funding
The Texas Tribune, March 6, 2014
"When voters approved using $2 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund for water financing last November, they were also supporting a measure that reserves 20 percent of that money for 'water conservation and reuse projects.'"

Water Issue Offers a Lesson in Humility
Southwest Farm Press, March 3, 2014
"Following a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) ruling on a Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) request to curtail the release of downstream water stored in the Highland Lakes beginning today, critics of the ruling say they are confused and uncertain what the decision means."


Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Proposed G&G Activities on the Mid- and South Atlantic OCS
79 Federal Register 13074, March 7, 2014


Information Collection Activities: Application for Permit To Drill (APD, Revised APD), Supplemental APD Information Sheet, and all Supporting Documentation; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request
79 Federal Register 14266, March 13, 2014

Information Collection Activities: Application for Permit To Modify (APM) and Supporting Documentation; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request
79 Federal Register 14271, March 13, 2014


Proposed Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard
79 Federal Register 13963, March 12, 2014

Extension of Public Comment Period for Proposed Action; Texas; Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Flexible Permit Program
79 Federal Register 13966, March 12, 2014

Notice of Availability and Public Comment Period; Release of Draft Integrated Review Plan for the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Dioxide
79 Federal Register 14035, March 12, 2014

For EPA's Global Warming Rules, Will 'Next Year' Mean 'Never'?
National Journal, March 11, 2014
"EPA's new budget plan says the agency hopes to make critical-and controversial-decisions about its effort to regulate greenhouse gases by the end of fiscal 2015."

Proposed Rule, Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule: Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems
79 Federal Register 13394, March 10, 2014

Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period, Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units
79 Federal Register 12681, March 6, 2014

Final Rule, Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Construction and Development Point Source Category
79 Federal Register 12661, March 6, 2014


States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas
The Texas Tribune, March 13, 2014
"Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say surging interest in a conservation plan to save the quickly disappearing lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as 'threatened' under the Endangered Species Act."

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District for Proposed Incidental Take Permit Addressing Take of Two Federally Listed Species in Central Texas
79 Federal Register 12522, March 5, 2014

Proposed Rule; Reopening of the Comment Period; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner
79 Federal Register 12138, March 4, 2014


Process Safety Management and Prevention of Major Chemical Accidents; Extension of Comment Period
79 Federal Register 13006, March 7, 2014


As Quakes Rise, Texas Still Seeking Answers
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 1, 2014
"Lynda Stokes admits to being frustrated as she waits for Texas regulators to offer a solution to the swarm of small earthquakes that shook the area near her home in Reno in recent months."


Economic Analysis of Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities in the U.S. Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Industries
Environmental Defense Fund, March 2014
"Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) commissioned this economic analysis of methane emission reduction opportunities from the oil and natural gas industries to identify the most cost-effective approaches to reduce these methane emissions."

Range-Wide Oil and Gas Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
Fish and Wildlife Service Colorado Field Office, February 28, 2014
"The CCAA is a voluntary agreement intended to address the effects of oil and gas activities on the LEPC and its habitat in the species' five-state range in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas."

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force Report on FracFocus 2.0
The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, February 24, 2014
"This Task Force report builds upon and extends the 2011 SEAB Subcommittee report on the environmental impacts of unconventional gas production."

Proxy Preview 2014
Proxy Preview, 2014
"The Preview documents how shareholders continue to form coalitions on issues like climate change, human rights, health and safety, sexual orientation and gender identity bias, and political spending."

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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