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Texas Environmental Update
August 13, 2014
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.
BRACEWELL ALERTS & PUBLICATIONS
EPA Considering Major Changes to Risk Management Program
Energy Legal Blog, August 11, 2014
Spurred by several recent industrial incidents, both onshore and offshore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced several potential revisions to its Clean Air Act Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. The RMP program Request for Information (2014 RMP RFI) contemplates a vast array of changes that could, on the one hand, increase the number of [...]
TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
AGENDAS & WORK SESSIONS
Commissioners' August 20, 2014 Meeting Agenda
TCEQ Web Site
Commissioners' August 15, 2014 Work Session Agenda
TCEQ Web Site
Commissioners' August 6, 2014 Agenda Meeting Webcast
IN THE NEWS:
Up in the Air
Denton Record-Chronicle, August 12, 2014
"ARLINGTON — Denton residents may have cleaner air to breathe by 2018, if the state's new estimates are correct and help from regional planners and Texas physicians comes through."
Advanced Review of Compliance History
TCEQ Web Site
"ARCH is a web-based program that allows authorized representatives of customers (CNs) to review and comment on their compliance-history information during a 30-day period before publication on the TCEQ's website."
TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $964,801
TCEQ Web Site, August 6, 2014
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $781,726 against 42 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations."
What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, August 8, 2014
Abbott Threatens to Sue EPA Over Rule Change
NBCDFW.com, August 12, 2014
"Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is poised for another clash with federal environmental regulators, this time over proposed water protections."
Some Texas Cities Turn to Higher Water Impact Fees
The Texas Tribune, August 11, 2014
"As cities across Texas continue to spread out, water suppliers and local governments are faced with the question of who should pay for building the infrastructure needed to handle the growth."
BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT
BSEE Releases Technical Review of Connector and Bolt Failures
BSEE Web Site, August 11, 2014
"The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) today released a technical review following the failure of connectors and bolts used in critical equipment."
Notice of Availability of the Risk Assessment Forum White Paper: Probabilistic Risk Assessment Methods and Case Studies and Probabilistic Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making: Frequently Asked Questions
79 Federal Register 47105, August 12, 2014
Politicians, Texas Companies Still Figuring Out the New Rules for Carbon Dioxide
Dallas Morning News, August 5, 2014
"Two months after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed slashing carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power plants, Texas officials are still scrambling to figure out how to respond."
Final Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard
79 Federal Register 45105, August 4, 2014
Request for Information, Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r)(7)
79 Federal Register 44604, July 31, 2014
Proposed Rule, Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program: Addition of Global Warming Potentials
79 Federal Register 44332, July 31, 2014
Final Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Air Pollution From Nitrogen Compounds
79 Federal Register 44299, July 31, 2014
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition to List the Warton's Cave Meshweaver as Endangered or Threatened
79 Federal Register 47413, August 13, 2014
Cornyn Hears Impact of Prairie Chicken Debate
Midland Reporter-Telegram, August 6, 2014
"With Congress recessed for five weeks, elected officials are returning to their home states and districts to meet with their constituents."
Final Rule, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner
79 Federal Register 45242, August 4, 2014
Final Rule, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for the Sharpnose Shiner and Smalleye Shiner
79 Federal Register 45274, August 4, 2014
PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Hazardous Materials: Special Permit and Approvals Standard Operating Procedures and Evaluation Process
79 Federal Register 47047, August 12, 2014
Final Rule, Hazardous Materials: Failure to Pay Civil Penalties
79 Federal Register 46194, August 7, 2014
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
79 Federal Register 45016, August 1, 2014
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
79 Federal Register 45079, August 1, 2014
TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION
New Rules Proposed on Eminent Domain Process for New Pipelines
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 12, 2014
"To be frank, the idea of a pipeline running across his prairie really ticked off cattleman Pete Bonds."
State Agency OKs New Rules for Injection Wells
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 12, 2014
"After a rash of earthquakes in North Texas that some argue are connected to fracking, the Texas Railroad Commission today released proposed rules requiring drillers to provide additional information before sinking injection wells in areas where there has been seismic activity."
Christi Craddick Being Tapped to Head Railroad Commission
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 5, 2014
"Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick is being tapped to replace Barry Smitherman as the next chairman of the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry."
OTHER TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS
Oil Companies Fracking Into Drinking Water Sources, New Research Shows
Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2014
"Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists."
Newest Frontier Offshore: Fracking
Dallas Morning News, August 9, 2014
"HOUSTON — Energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea — to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts."
Fracking Companies Begin Slow Shift to Recycling Wastewater
Dallas Morning News, August 9, 2014
"MIDLAND — It's not just oil and natural gas that comes out of the ground here."
Legislators Talk Oil, Water and Transportation
San Angelo Standard-Times, August 6, 2014
"SAN ANGELO, Texas - One size does not fit all when it comes to writing rules for Texas’ water management in a time when the oil industry is booming in the state."
Impact of the Keystone XL pipeline on Global Oil Markets and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Nature Climate Change, August 10, 2014
"Here, we apply a simple model to understand the implications of the pipeline for greenhouse gas emissions as a function of any resulting increase in oil sands production."
Pavillion Field Well Integrity Review
Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation commission, August 5, 2014
"This report by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) is a technical and regulatory analysis relating to the integrity of all identified oil and gas wells within one-quarter mile of fourteen (14) domestic water wells identified by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) as having quality and palatability issues in the vicinity of the Pavillion Gas Field in Fremont County, Wyoming (Figure 1)."
The Climate Implications of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG, Exports
Center for American Progress, August 2014
"As the expansion of shale gas production has positioned the United States to become a potential net exporter of natural gas, the overall effect that increased exports would have on the climate has been in dispute."
Biotic Impacts of Energy Development From Shale: Research Priorities and Knowledge Gaps
Smithsonian National Zoological Park Web Site, August 2014
"We evaluate knowledge gaps related to shale development and prioritize research needs using a quantitative framework that includes spatial and temporal extent, mitigation difficulty, and current level of understanding."
EPA Should Improve Adherence to Guidance for Selected Elements of Regulatory Impact Analyses
Government Accountability Office, July 2014
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used the seven Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA) GAO reviewed to inform decision making, and its adherence to relevant Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance varied."
Assessing Economic Impacts of a Stricter National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone
National Association of Manufacturers, July 2014
"This report demonstrates analysis methods to assess the potential costs and impacts on the U.S. economy of a more stringent national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone, and provides our estimates of the potential costs and economic impacts if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were to set an ozone standard of 60 parts per billion (ppb)."
Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory
USDA, Office of the Chief Economist, July 2014
"The objective for this report is to create a standard set of GHG estimation methods for use by USDA, landowners, and other stakeholders to assist them in evaluating the GHG impacts of their management decisions."