December 2014 Fracking Report

 

New this month:

  • Colorado: State officials have notified the federal Fish & Wildlife Service of Colorado’s intent to sue the agency over its decision to list the Gunnison sage-grouse as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Maryland: Outgoing Democrat Governor O’Malley’s administration released its final report on Marcellus Shale development and a series of stringent regulations that could lead to a lifting of the state’s moratorium, though incoming Republican Governor-elect Hogan will have the final word.
  • New York: Governor Cuomo signaled that a long-awaited health study on the impacts of shale development will be released by the end of the year and his administration will be making some “tough decisions” next year regarding the future of fracking in the state.
  • Michigan: Local zoning and setback concerns have prompted state legislators and local officials to press for legislation that would allow townships of a certain size to enact local ordinances on oil and gas drilling.
  • North Carolina: The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission is pushing the Rules Review Commission to swiftly adopt its 124 proposed regulations on drilling in order to meet a January 1 deadline.
  • Texas: Local measures to restrict development are on the rise, with College City Station seeking to revise its oil and gas regulations with stricter setbacks, noise abatement and other mitigations, while Mansfield residents push for longer setback requirements.
  • North Dakota: The state’s Industrial Commission released draft regulations on the liquid content for Bakken crude oil as a means to boost the safety of oil transport by rail.
  • Wyoming: After a few months’ delay, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conversation Commission voted on November 18 to recommend an increase in the minimum allowable distance between drilling operations and dwellings from 350 feet to 500 feet.