Garrett County and Natural Gas - Risks and Benefits

A selection of categorized links to allow one to assess the risks and benefits of gas development in Garrett Conty.

Garrett County Montage

Legal Issues

A collection of links that deal with legal issues and regulations pertaining to Marcellus Shale gas development

- 1203 - [November 4, 2014] - Haynes and Boone's Newsroom, Donald D. Jackson, Mike Stewart - "Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Offshore, LLC"
"Offsite drilling is becoming increasing prevalent in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. Consequently, many in the industry were closely following a dispute between two neighboring operators in the Eagle Ford Shale area in which one operator opposed a neighboring operator’s plans to use offsite drilling. On October 29, 2014, the San Antonio Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiff lease owner, Lightning Oil Co. (“Lightning”), was not entitled to a temporary injunction barring an adjoining lease owner, Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC (“Anadarko”), from drilling through Lightning’s mineral estate to reach Anadarko's own mineral estate. Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC, No. 04-14-00152-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio, October 29, 2014)."
- 1343 - [NA] - Upworthy, Curator: Robby Berman - "A Small Town Just Came Up With A Surprisingly Simple Way To Stop Fracking Dead In Its Tracks"
"Imagine: Someone comes to your home and tells you that the place is now theirs and there’s nothing you can do. That’s what happened to the people in this little mountain town. Little by little, depressed neighbor reached out to depressed neighbor. And when two local lawyers had an “aha!” moment — at 4:51 in the video — it seemed like there might be something they could do after all. But first they had to convince their town board. Watch the climactic vote at 7:52."
- 1344 - [NA] - EarthJustice - Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer, EarthJustice - "Fending Off Fracking In Dryden, NY"
"It all started with a billionaire fossil fuel mogul trying to run roughshod over a small town.
After the bipartisan town board in Dryden, NY (pop: 14,500) voted unanimously to clarify that oil and gas activities—including fracking—were not permitted within the town’s borders, the Anschutz Exploration Corporation, owned by Philip Anschutz (net worth: $7.5 billion), sued Dryden in an attempt to override local zoning. Earthjustice is representing Dryden in its effort to keep fossil fuel development at bay.
On June 30, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas operations, within municipal borders."
- 1345 - [February 13, 2015] - EarthJustice - Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer, EarthJustice - "Landowners Seek Air, Water and Land Zoning Regulations, Protection from Unregulated Oil Drilling"
"Today, seven landowners filed a legal challenge in state district court to the Carbon County Commission’s rejection of their petition for land use regulations to protect their private properties from the harmful effects of oil and gas drilling.
The landowners collectively seek to establish the “Silvertip Zoning District” to cover nearly 3,000 acres of agricultural land north of Belfry, Montana. Creation of the district is the first step to establish solid protections for land, air and water quality, giving landowners an essential voice in the development of oil and gas on their properties."
- 1382 - [Update: CSX train hauling North Dakota oil derails, cars ablaze in W. Virginia] - Congressional Research Service, Adam Vann, Brandon J. Murrill and Mary Tiemann - "Hydraulic Fracturing: Selected Legal Issues"
"Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to recover oil and natural gas from underground low permeability rock formations. Its use along with horizontal drilling has been responsible for an increase in estimated U.S. oil and natural gas reserves. Hydraulic fracturing and related oil and gas production activities have been controversial because of their potential effects on public health and the environment. Several environmental statutes have implications for the regulation of hydraulic fracturing by the federal government and states."
- 1432 - [September 23, 2013] - Oil and Gas Lawyer Blog, NA - "Supreme Court Ducks Issue of Injection Well-Subsurface Trespass"
"On February 6, 2015, The Supreme Court of Texas released its second opinion in FPL Farming Ltd. (“FPL”) v. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. (“EPS”). The Beaumont court of appeals had held that injected fluids that migrate beyond the boundary of the land owned by the surface owner constitute a trespass on a neighbor’s property. The Supreme Court declined to address whether or not subsurface wastewater migration is actionable as a common law trespass in Texas, and instead focused on consent as a general element of a trespass cause of action."
- 1483 - [NA] - University of Dayton School of Law, Professor Blake Watson - "Hydraulic Fracturing Primer"
"Selected Articles on (1) Fracking Contamination and Trespass Litigation; (2) Lone Pine orders; and (3) Hydraulic Fracturing and Mortgages.
Summary of Groundwater Contamination Disputes (And Some Related Cases) Involving Hydraulic Fracturing."
- 1523 - [March 21, 2015] - PowerSource - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Terrie Morgan-Besecker / The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. (TNS) - "Doctor loses lawsuit that challenged secrecy of fracking fluid"
"A federal appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by an area physician challenging a law that precluded him from releasing information he obtained regarding chemicals contained in hydraulic fracking fluid.
Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez of Dallas challenged Act 13 of 2012, which allows medical professionals to learn the ingredients in fracking fluid if the information is used to treat patients, but requires them to enter a confidentiality agreement."
- 1540 - [September 19, 2012] - Pennsylvania | Energy.Environment.Economy., Scott Detrow - "In fracking hot spots, police and gas industry share intelligence on activists"
"Last month an anti-fracking group settled a lawsuit against Pennsylvania, after it was erroneously labeled a potential terrorist threat. The case dates back to 2010 and was an embarrassment for then-Governor Ed Rendell.
But documents obtained by StateImpact Pennsylvania show law enforcement here and in other parts of the country continue to conduct surveillance on anti-fracking activists, leading some to claim their Constitutional rights are being violated."
- 1571 - [April 2015] - The Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore Sun - "Fracking deserves a pause"
"How can Md. greenlight fracking when the adverse impacts put so many existing jobs at risk? The Maryland House of Delegates gave final approval Tuesday to legislation that would place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to produce natural gas in this state for the next three years. The vote was 93-to-45, a two-thirds majority. The proposal offers the kind of compromise that the state Senate and Gov. Larry Hogan ought to embrace."
- 1572 - [March 24, 2015] - KDKA CBS Pittsburgh, NA - "KD Investigates: As Drilling Ramps Up, So Do The Lawsuits"
"Gary Andreis’s house in Chartiers-Houston is just downhill from a natural gas compressor station which he says has flooded his yard and poisoned his well, forcing him and his family to live on bottled water.
“My water well’s contaminated,” says Andreis. “I got bad arsenic problems, other chemicals in my water well.”
Andreis blames runoff from a containment pond adjacent to the compressor station and has hired an attorney to take the owner and operator, MarkWest Energy, to court.
“We’ll be filing a suit against MarkWest,” said Charles Kurowski, Andreis’s attorney."
- 1665 - [April 7, 2015] - The Patriot News, Matt Miller - "Court blocks environmental group's plea for radioactivity data on Marcellus Shale drilling"
"An environmental group can't have access to raw data collected during a state probe into potential exposure to radioactivity from Marcellus Shale gas and oil drilling operations, a Commonwealth Court panel ruled Friday.
The ruling overturns a decision by the state Office of Open Records that ordered the Department of Environmental Protection to turn over that data to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
However, Judge Anne E. Covey wrote in the state court opinion that the information gathered by DEP's Bureau of Radiation Protection starting in 2013 is exempt from public disclosure as part of a "noncriminal investigation."
The Open Records Office had concluded that the information was part of a study, not an investigation, and should be open to the public."
- 1680 - [Apr 16th, 2015] - Times-News, Tribune News Service - "Lee County residents ask court to suspend fracking rules"
"The owner of a Lee County horse farm is asking a Wake County judge to block any fracking permit applications from being processed until courts determine if North Carolina’s fracking regulations are legal."
- 1739 - [April 24, 2015] - The National Law Journal, Theodore E. Tsekerides and Yvette W. Lowney, The National Law Journal - "The Tricky Case for Causation in Fracking Litigation"
"As Chief Judge Richard Posner famously recognized, "[t]he courtroom is not the place for scientific guesswork, even of the inspired sort. Law lags science; it does not lead it." Rosen v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., 78 F.3d 316, 319 (7th Cir. 1996). This oft-cited maxim is particularly applicable in litigation involving hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and in determining whether these operations pose health risks to people living in communities near well sites."
- 1755 - [June 17, 2011] - Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, Kellie Fisher - "Communities in the Dark: The Use of State Sunshine Laws to Shed Light on the Fracking Industry"
"Although oil and gas companies continue to maintain that fracking is safe and there is no risk of injury, personal accounts from residents of areas with a fracking industry presence suggest otherwise. Oil and gas companies utilize a variety of mechanisms to ensure secrecy within the industry. Through gaps in federal regulation, the classification of fracking fluid as a trade secret, sealed settlements, and confidentiality orders imposed on people injured by fracking, access to information about the industry — including chemicals used and harm to residents — is minimal. This Note argues that the implementation of state sunshine laws is one possible mechanism to shine light on the practices of the fracking industry in order to encourage more governmental monitoring, expos e the risks, and provide possible recourse for injured parties to recover in a toxic tort suit."
- 1759 - [January 8, 2014] - Washington and Lee Univrsity School of Law, James K. Pickle - "Fracking Preemption Litigation"
"This Note will explore the litigation currently in state courts, specifically West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and Colorado, which will decide the future of fracking. This Note will also explain how the arguments in each case are essentially the same. After reviewing the pertinent litigation surrounding this issue, this Note proposes that a more centralized, comprehensive federal regime is the best regulatory option for fracking."
- 1766 - [September 1, 2008] - Pro Publica, Abrahm Lustgarten - "FRAC Act—Congress Introduces Twin Bills to Control Drilling and Protect Drinking Water"
"In a widely expected move that is sure to draw the ire of the oil and gas industry, Democratic members of Congress today introduced twin bills to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and give the Environmental Protection Agency authority over the controversial drilling process called hydraulic fracturing."
- 1809 - [May 2, 2015] -, Crain's Cleveland Business - "Ohio lawmakers prepare to give drillers nearly unfettered access to almost all public and private lands"
"The Ohio legislature is poised to make some small but mighty changes in Ohio’s oil and gas statute that will create even smoother sailing for the shale oil and gas industry. Their proposals, appearing in House Bill 8, are amendments to Ohio’s oil and gas law. Here’s what they’re doing, seemingly unbeknownst to most landowners — public and private.
The current state of affairs is as follows. It takes a large piece of land, preferably at least 640 acres, to make it possible (read profitable) for oil and gas companies to develop shale resources using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Oil and gas companies try to gain mineral rights to sufficiently sized plots by entering into leases with land owners and mineral rights owners. Often, they can do this without difficulty. But sometimes they bump up against a landowner who doesn’t wish to lease the land or mineral rights."
- 1849 - [May 9, 2015] - DeSmog, Steve Horn - "Dimock, PA Lawsuit Trial-Bound as Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination in Neighboring County"
"A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has CONFIRMED what many fracking critics have argued for years: hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can contaminate groundwater.
The study's release comes as a major class action lawsuit filed in the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 2009 winds its way to a jury trial later this year. The lawsuit over fracking groundwater contamination pits plaintiffs based in Dimock, PA against Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation."
- 1870 - [May 13, 2015] - UPI, Daniel J. Graeber - "New York fracking ban closer to law"
"Parts of the Marcellus shale natural gas play in New York may be off limits to hydraulic fracturing because of potential adverse risks, a state review found. "
- 1871 - [2012] - EcoWatch, Cole Mellino - "Texas Passes Ban on Fracking Bans (Yes, You Read that Right)"
"The Texas state legislature voted yesterday to ban fracking bans. Ever since the people of Denton, Texas voted to ban fracking last November, state lawmakers in cahoots with the oil and gas industry and the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, have attempted to strip municipalities like Denton of home rule authority to override the city’s ban."
- 1925 - [May 26, 2015] -, Delegate Fraser Hidalgo et al. - "House Bill 449"
"For the purpose of requiring the Department of the Environment to adopt certain regulations on or before a certain date; prohibiting certain regulations adopted by the Department from becoming effective until a certain date; prohibiting the Department from issuing a permit to authorize the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of natural gas in the State until a certain date; defining a certain term; and generally relating to hydraulic fracturing for the exploration or production of natural gas."
- 1950 - [June 9, 2015] - frackorporation, dhippauf - "Gas Gag for Dollars"
"We’ve heard the phrases “put your money where your mouth is” or “put up or shut up”.
In a variation of these old phrases, natural gas corporations are now saying “take the money and shut up”.
In Finleyville, PA, residents regularly complained about air contaminants, noise levels exceeding 80 decibels (inside their homes), vibrations and light coming from nearby fracking operations by EQT Corporation."
- 1956 - [June 11, 2015] - StateImpact Pennsylvania, Marie Cusick - "Bradford County considers royalties lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy"
"Pennsylvania’s most drilled-on county is exploring the possibility of joining one of the many lawsuits that have been filed recently against Chesapeake Energy. The Oklahoma City-based company has been widely accused of cheating landowners out of royalty money from natural gas drilling."
- 1964 - [June 4, 2015] - Maryland Attorney General, David Paulson - "Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler Warns Landowners: Before Signing a Mineral Rights Lease, Check Your Mortgage"
"Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is warning landowners that signing a mineral rights lease could conflict with some requirements of their federally-approved home or farm mortgage. To ensure their homes and farms remain safe from legal entanglements, landowners should always check with their bank or mortgage lender before entering into a mineral rights lease."
- 2000 - [June 2015] - EarthWorks, EarthWorks - "Loopholes for polluters – the oil and gas industry’s exemptions to major environmental laws"
"The oil and gas industry is exempt from key provisions of seven major federal environmental laws — allowing practices that would otherwise be illegal. Some exemptions date back decades. Others were adopted as recently as 2005."