Tag Archives: hydraulic fracturing

Jury “Earthquake” Discussions Did Not Warrant New Trial

The Eight Circuit, in a case involving a determination regarding the amount of damages to property owners purportedly caused by vibrations from drilling operations, has refused to order a new trial arising out of an energy company’s challenge to a jury verdict against it where the jurors discussed “fracking” and “earthquakes” even though there was no evidence at trial regarding those activities. Specifically, during jury deliberations in Ruby Hiser v. XTO Energy, 768 F.3d 773 (8th Cir. 2014), the jury inquired of the court: …

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New Rules In Ohio Address Seismic Monitoring At Drill Sites

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has released strict new guidelines for monitoring seismic activity at drill sites in the state. The new rules come as state officials publically acknowledge the “probable” connection between drilling operations and a series of small earthquakes that shook northeast portions of the state last month. Previous studies have found connections between the underground injection of fracking wastewater and tremors, but this latest study marks the first time that drilling operations have been linked to earthquakes in the state.…

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Ohio Court Grants Neighboring Landowners Standing to Sue to Stop Fracking

Last week, Judge Timothy Horton of Ohio’s Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granted standing to Leatra Harper and Steven Janstro of Guernsey County, who recently brought suit against the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the drilling company Antero Resources in an effort to stop fracking in the vicinity of Ohio’s Senecaville Lake. The couple filed suit back in October, eight months after MWCD and Antero Resources entered into a $40.3 million lease of the subsurface mineral…

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EPA Limits Findings in Report To Exclude Marcellus Shale

At a recent House of Representatives Subcommittee hearing, Environmental Protection Agency officials limited its prior draft report regarding claimed linkage between certain chemicals used in fracking and groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming.  The prior draft report had heavily criticized by the energy industry and, at the same time, it was the source of ammunition for anti-fracking groups trying to prevent the practice. At the contentious hearing (the movie maker of Gasland was arrested), the EPA released hundreds of documents from its study and otherwise defended the…

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Lawsuits Increasing Related to Claimed Well Contamination

From Pennsylvania to Texas, hydraulic fracturing is increasing and, with it, so are the lawsuits.  Among the types of claims being asserted are those by landowners that claim that well water has been contaminated by fracking fluids.  There are in excess of 20 such lawsuits pending across the country.  One critical stumbling block to the claims is causation.   In contamination cases, Plaintiffs need to prove a number of things, including that the fracking fluids used in the drilling has seeped into the well water and,…

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