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Texas Environmental Update

July 30, 2013

The environmental practice of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP offers seamless, front-rank representation in local, state, national, and cross-border regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters, as well as experienced counsel on the environmental aspects of transactions and operations across the country and around the world. We are dedicated to helping clients successfully navigate complex and costly environmental issues and to building longstanding client relationships founded on superior advice, integrity, and value. We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated community in Texas.


Companies Fined for GHG Emissions Reporting Errors
Energy Legal Blog, July 26, 2013
Nine companies were issued fines by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for violating the State of California's Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule. The ARB adopted the reporting rule in 2007. Under the rule, sources that emit more than 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year must annually report their greenhouse gas emissions [...]

Backing Fracking: UK Government Announces Shale Gas Incentives
Energy Legal Blog, July 22, 2013
The UK Government has demonstrated its commitment to the establishment of a shale gas industry by announcing details of proposed tax incentives to be offered to project developers. Guidance relating to the planning process for obtaining project approvals has also been published. Both documents were released on 19 July 2013 and follow the Government's statements [...]


Agendas & Work Sessions

Commissioners' July 26, 2013 Agenda Meeting Webcast

In the News:


TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $ 1,217,777
TCEQ Web Site, July 26, 2013
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $956,173 against 71 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations."

Regulatory Developments

What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, July 26, 2013


Farmers Look to TCEQ to Restore Water to Dry Crops
The Texas Tribune, July 26, 2013
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners voted Friday to affirm an order that requires farmers to stop drawing water from the Brazos River."

Texas' Ongoing Drought Keeping Lake Levels Down
San Angelo Standard-Times, July 24, 2013
"WHITE RIVER LAKE - When A.O. Smith bought the lone marina on White River Lake in 2000, the water level was already low."


Deadline for Comments on Proposed Fracturing Rules on Public Lands Nears
MyWestTexas.com, July 25, 2013
"Permian Basin producers and other members of the public have just a few more weeks to offer comments on proposed rules regulating hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian trust lands."


Proposed Rule, NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule
78 Federal Register 46006, July 30, 2013

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects States' Challenge Over Climate Rules
Reuters, July 26, 2013
"WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a legal challenge by Texas and Wyoming to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions."

Notice of Extension of Comment Period, Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements
78 Federal Register 44485, July 24, 2013

San Antonio Agrees to $1.1 Billion Upgrade Sewer Systems to Comply With Clean Water Act
EPA Web Site, July 23, 2013
"WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced today that the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has agreed to make significant upgrades to reduce overflows from its sewer system and pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to resolve Clean Water Act (CWA) violations stemming from illegal discharges of raw sewage."

McCarthy Confirmation to Lead EPA Clears Way for Rules
Bloomberg, July 18, 2013
"Gina McCarthy's confirmation to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency puts the former Republican aide in charge of developing wide-ranging climate-change rules that business group oppose. "

Direct Final Rule, Community Right-to-Know; Adoption of 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting
78 Federal Register 42875, July 18, 2013

EPA Vapor Capture Regulations Have Producers Scrambling for Equipment
MyWestTexas.com, July 17, 2013
"Over the past three years or so the Environmental Protection Agency has progressed from asking producers and midstream companies to monitor volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions to requiring them to recapture 95 percent of them over a certain amount."

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Notice and Request for Comments, Paperless Hazard Communications Pilot Program
78 Federal Register 43263, July 19, 2013

Issuance of Advisory Bulletin, Pipeline Safety: Reminder of Requirements for Utility LP-Gas and LPG Pipeline Systems
78 Federal Register 42889, July 18, 2013


Few Answers in April Gas Well Blowout
Denton Record-Chronicle, July 27, 2013
"After three months of reflection and several government reports, key questions remain unanswered following a gas well blowout on April 19 near homes, businesses and Denton Enterprise Airport, including why it took hours for anyone to call either 911 or state regulators."


New Database Details Midland's Fresh, Brackish Water Sources
MyWestTexas.com, July 25, 2013
"Just as data like 3-D seismic surveys help operators pinpoint drilling locations, an Austin firm hopes its data can help operators find water sources."


An Evaluation of Water Quality in Private Drinking Water Wells Near Natural Gas Extraction Sites in the Barnett Shale Formation
Environmental Science & Technology, July 25, 2013
"Here, we present an assessment of private well water quality in aquifers overlying the Barnett Shale formation of North Texas."

Vast Costs of Arctic Change
Nature, July 25, 2013
"Unlike the loss of sea ice, the vulnerability of polar bears and the rising human population, the economic impacts of a warming Arctic are being ignored."

Economic Impact of Revised BLM Completion Rule
Western Energy Alliance Web Site, July 19, 2013
"As per your request, we have examined the impact of a proposal that would require that companies drilling new wells for the extraction of petroleum products on federal lands face a plethora of new rules."