Author Archives: Andrew J. Scholz

Bureau of Land Management Extends Comment Period for Federal Regulations

Bureau_Land_Mgmt[1]The BLM extended the public comment on its proposed regulations (43 CFR Part 3160) for hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian trust lands.  The extension is for a period for 60 days.
Public comments can be made at this portal. According to BLM Deputy Director Neil Kornze, “Extending the comment period ensures that we’ll have greater input from the public and from key stakeholders, including industry and environmental groups, Indian tribes, as well as other people who have hydraulic fracturing operations in…

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New Academic and Government Study Finds No Groundwater Contamination In Arkansas

“Our results show no discernible impairment of groundwater quality in areas associated with natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in this region,” began professor Avner Vengosh, of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.  The study, jointly undertaken by Duke University and the United States Geological Survey, specifically involved testing of 127 shallow drinking water wells in the Fayettevill Shale.  The scientists were looking for elements of hydrocarbons and other trace elements.  They ultimately found very low concentrations of methane in the water which did…

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New York Court of Appeals Asked To Hear Fracking Case

Court of AppealsThe New York Court of Appeals has been asked to resolve the issue of whether localities and towns are empowered to ban hydraulic fracturing.   As readers of this page know, New York’s Appellate Division answered the question in the affirmative.  Tom West, attorney to Norse Energy, appealed to the Court to take the case, stating: We hope that the New York Court of Appeals recognizes the importance of this issue and greants leave to appeal to provide definitive guidance concerning this important issue of statewide…

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New York Appellate Court Affirms Enforceability of Local Ban Against Fracking

2687_104008550336_4278131_nIn two key decisions, New York’s Appellate Division, Third Department, affirmed two localities’ bans on fracking.  Specifically, in Cooperstown v. Town of Middlefield and in Norse Energy v. Town of Dryden, the Court reviewed whether the Supreme Court correctly rejected the energy companies’ argument that the localities’ bans on fracking were preempted by New York state law. In the respective appeals, several interests groups were granted leave to file amici curiae briefs, including environmental groups, towns, and industry.   The Court first recognized that the…

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No Forecast For A Decision on Fracking In New York

30109-cuomo-103p.photoblog600As Tom Petty said , “the waiting is the hardest part.”   After years of delays and, as some opine, indecision, New York is still studying whether and how to permit hydraulic fracturing. To remind our readers, there have been many times over the past five years when New York was expected to formally announce whether or not to permit hydraulic fracturing and, to the extent permitted, how it would be regulated.   Anti-fracking groups led by celebrities have vocally opposed any fracking under any circumstances. Months…

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